Bike Helmet Law Would Make Parents Pay For Kids' Mistakes
Posted April 27, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — Drive down a suburban street when school is out and you'll find plenty of kids riding bikes, without wearing helmets. But soon, going without one could hit their parents in the wallet.
Proposed bills in the state House and Senate would make parents pay for their children's mistakes. The proposed House bill would apply to anyone under 18 years old. If they are caught riding a bike without wearing a helmet, their parents could be cited and fined ten dollars.
Helmets are a sore subject for many kids who ride bikes. Most children who have not been in accidents believe helmets are uncool or a pain to carry. But kids whose parents make them wear one usually know why they are so important.
Meredith O'Briant says her parents are strict about helmets. And she understands why. "You can bust your head open or you can get seriously damaged on your head," she says. She says she wears her helmet all the time.
The idea behind the bill is to educate both children and parents on the dangers of head injuries.
"It's a really good idea because children may not see the importance of wearing a helmet at their young age, but it's definitely important," says accident victim Chris Green.
Green says forcing your child to wear a helmet is like taking your child to the doctor when he or she is sick. "They may not see the need for it at the time, but it's definitely a good idea."
Under the bill, the fine can be waived on a first offense if the rider shows proof of a helmet purchase. The respective bills still have to be voted on before becoming a law.