TOWNSEND -- Police Chief Erving Marshall randomly selected four children in town to receive prizes for practicing exemplary bicycle safety at the Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday night.

Marshall chose four names out of a box to receive $100 gift certificates, which could be put toward a new bicycle or bicycle equipment.

The four winners were Madelyn Johnson, Andrew Peloquin, Colton Ranger and Lizzie Urda.

When children in town are seen safely riding their bicycles, by wearing helmets or showing other signs of caution, police officers in town may present them with coupons for a free ice cream.

All those who received a free ice cream were entered into the drawing, which occurs annually.

"We pick four names of those who have been issued ice cream certificates who have been seen around town using their helmets, wearing their helmets and utilizing bicycle safety," Marshall said.

According to Marshall, the program has been very successful in promoting bike safety in town.

"We've been doing this program about 25 years now, and since the time that the program was established, we haven't had any serious head injuries as a result of those wearing their helmets and practicing safety," Marshall said.

Marshall also cited the example of Robert Mitchell, whose bicycle was hit by a car in August. Mitchell emerged from the accident relatively unscathed, due largely to the fact that a friend had reminded him to wear his helmet.

"As you saw several months ago, we had two boys in here who were the recipients of some bicycles. One of them was involved in a rather serious motor vehicle accident and he avoided serious head injury because he was wearing his helmet," Marshall said.

Both Mitchell and Baldwin were given new bicycles and helmets at the Sept. 10 selectmen's meeting.

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