Shellharbour cyclists using their heads

Wearing a helmet while riding his bicycle has paid dividends for Ty Lowe of Lake Illawarra.

The 11-year-old is enjoying a new set of wheels thank to Shellharbour City Council's Winners Wear Helmets program.

The council has partnered with Lake Illawarra police command for the education program.

Shellharbour cyclists complying with the law are given "green cards" by police that allow them to enter a draw to win prizes from Bike Hub, Strike Zone and The Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk.

Cyclists spotted not wearing helmets are presented with "red cards" that mean they must attend education sessions at the Lake Illawarra PCYC or can be given an infringement notice with a minimum fine of $67.

In the past five months 85 green cards have been handed out and 50 red cards.

The program was established after a Shellharbour council study of 200 cyclists found 63 per cent were not wearing helmets.

"This program was designed to remind young people of the importance of wearing a helmet, the risks of not wearing a helmet and to reward those who are following the rules," Mayor Marianne Saliba said.

The next program will begin in October.

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