REWARD: DNR and DQ team up to offer free safety cones

MADISON – People who enjoy recreational boating or all-terrain vehicle use will want to watch for a new kind of safety cone out on Wisconsin trails and waterways this spring.

To encourage safety on a variety of recreational vehicles, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is teaming up with Wisconsin DQ’s to hand out coupons good for a free soft serve cone to youth demonstrating responsible habits and courteous behavior. The coupons can be redeemed at any of the more than 120 DQ’s conveniently located statewide.

“We’re proud of the outdoor ethic among our young recreational enthusiasts and our law enforcement officers are excited to begin this partnership,” says Roy Zellmer, warden supervisor with the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement. “We all want to keep young people safe and thanks to the support from Dairy Queen, we have a new way to reward them for doing the right things.”

What are some of the positive choices on the DNR’s “most wanted” list of good behaviors? Zellmer says most kids probably already know the answers:

  • Always wear a helmet when riding all-terrain or utility vehicles and snowmobiles.
  • Complete a safety education course and carry your certificate with you.
  • Obey all trail signs and check for traffic at road crossings.
  • Wear a lifejacket aboard all types of watercraft.
  • Observe no-wake rules and slow down before reaching no-wake buoys.
  • Help and respect others.

James Braasch, North Central marketing spokesman for Dairy Queen, says a similar safety rewards program piloted with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has generated positive results. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board recently approved a $75,000 donation from the company to fund the project here.

“On behalf of the Wisconsin DQ franchisees, we are pleased to partner with the Wisconsin DNR to encourage respect for our natural resources and support positive interactions with law enforcement,” Braasch says. “Together, we hope the effort promotes safety and encourages good citizenship with our fans in the communities we serve.”

The program runs throughout the year and wardens will be carrying the free safety cone coupons with them as they traverse the state’s waters, woods and trails. While the initial focus will be geared toward youth on all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles and watercraft, wardens will look for young snowmobile riders to reward later in the year.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Roy Zellmer, warden supervisor, DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement, (608) 212-5385; Penny Kanable, recreational boating program, DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement, (608) 228-9352 or Jennifer Sereno, communications, (608) 770-8084.

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