Coronado’s New Community Reinforcement Program

By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

Founding Editor,

Coronado California, a small island community adjacent to San Diego, is perhaps best known for its Naval Amphibious Base.  Soon, it may also be known for it’s new positive reinforcement program targeting bicyclists.

According to, the Coronado Police Department, in collaboration with local businesses, have joined forces to issue citations. The citations, however, will not issue fines, they will issue gift cards to local businesses.  The so-called “reward citations” are an effort to reinforce desirable behaviors among cyclists “such as wearing a helmet, using a light at night, stopping at stop signs, and walking bikes on Orange Ave’s sidewalks.”

The program is fully funded by local businesses, non-profits, and individual residents, rather than taxpayers.  In fact, the program allows residents to actively contribute to the program by purchasing a small gift card and dropping it off at Holland’s Bicycles, a local bike shop and program sponsor.

Richard Bailey, a City Council member, was quoted as saying “positive reinforcement can be very effective in changing behavior” and that’s what the cards are intended to be.  Of course, any Board Certified Behavior Analyst will tell you that a positive reinforcer is only a reinforcer if it reinforces behavior.  Will the program increase positive cyclist behavior?  Only time will tell.

Be sure to check out the full article and let us know what you think about the program in the comments below.  Also, be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is President of bSci21 Media, LLC, which owns and  Todd serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and as an editorial board member for Behavior and Social Issues.  He has worked as a behavior analyst in day centers, residential providers, homes, and schools, and served as the director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Todd’s areas of expertise include writing, entrepreneurship, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Instructional Design, Organizational Behavior Management, and ABA therapy. Todd can be reached at [email protected].

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