Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mandating bicycle helmets for kids on a state level is ridiculous in Ohio. The residential areas of Ohio are vastly different, ranging from rural to small to large urban areas with a healthy dose of suburban areas as well. If mandatory bicycle helmet laws are to be passed at all, they should be passed on a municipal level.
The notion that a $10 helmet is worth a crap is ridiculous at best & dangerously misleading at worst.
The cost of a helmet is prohibitively expensive for poor urban kids who frequently don't have the money for a bike to begin with.
Bicycling should be promoted in Ohio for reasons of personal health, economy, social awareness and energy independence as well as personal independence.
The state's efforts would be better spent concocting a bicyclist education program that could teach the "Rules of the Road" to kids 8 - 12 that they might otherwise not learn til they turn 16 and begin to learn how to operate a motor vehicle. With any luck the reinforcement of this education will also improve the quality of drivers in the state.
While on the subject, driver's education should be more rigorous & drivers should be re-tested every 12 years or so to break bad habits.
This comes down to feel good, "Look what I did to protect our children" grandstanding, nanny statist pooh. The city of Cincinnati pased such legislation several years ago & it is hardly enforced. It is not enforced at all in Over the Rhine where kids ride around on bikes acting as lookouts for the vice lords.

What I'm babbling about:
State bills require bicycling minors to wear helmets
If law passes, offenders face warnings in first year, then a $25 fine.

By Laura Bischoff
Tuesday, January 08, 2008

COLUMBUS — Ohio may join 32 other states that require minors to wear bike helmets while riding a bike or in a seat or trailer.
Two bills are pending in the General Assembly that would require cyclists under the age of 17 to strap on a proper bike helmet or face a $25 fine. (Some cities, including Centerville, already have local laws requiring children to wear bike helmets.)

Only warnings would be issued the first year of the law, but after that, parents would be ticketed. Money from the tickets would be put into a fund to pay for helmets, which cost as little as $10, to low-income children.
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reports that 45 percent to 88 percent of reported head injuries in bike accidents could be prevented with helmets.
Ohio has 2.8 million children. Even if only half bike, the bill would affect 1.4 million Ohioans.
State Rep. Mike Skindell, D-Lakewood, an avid bicyclist, will give sponsor testimony on the House bill Wednesday.
Skindell was hit by a vehicle while cycling last year and credits a helmet for reducing his injuries.
State Sen. Tom Roberts, D-Dayton, is sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.


valereee said...

We're turning into a culture who really believe 'you can't be too safe' and that -any- increase in safety is worth whatever it takes to achieve.

thorn said...

Money from the tickets would be put into a fund to pay for helmets, which cost as little as $10, to low-income children.

I'm just curious... are low-income children exempt from the law, until such a time that ticket revenues purchase them a helmet? ;)