Should bike helmets be the law?

Bike helmet law debate in Ohio. (WDTN Photo)
Bike helmet law debate in Ohio. (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The death of another young bicycle rider prompted 2 NEWS to check on the status of a bike helmet bill working its way through the Ohio Statehouse.

118 children were treated for bike related injuries at Dayton Children’s Hospital in the last two months alone.

Jessica Saunders is Dayton Children’s Director for the Center of Child Health and Wellness. She says something as simple as a helmet can decrease severe injuries by 88 percent on bikes.

“We can fix a broken arm or a broken leg, but we can’t fix a brain that has been injured by a bike accident,” said Saunders.

That is why she says it’s important to keep one thing in mind.. before anyone grabs on to the handlebars.

“When you have a child out buying a bike. When you buy a bike, you need to buy a helmet with it.”

Saunders says she has a 4 year old who wears a helmet. She believes parents who show good habits will pass them along to their children, but she can only do so much. “Ohio isn’t the first state to consider or even have legislation.”

The wheels are turning in Columbus to make wearing a helmet a law for anyone who is 16 years old or younger.

Senator Shannon Jones says Senate Bill 157 could turn the gears on bike safety while promoting local law enforcement in the community.

“It’s a chance for them to talk to young kids who they see on their bikes about the importance of bicycle safety,” said Senator Jones.

21 other states have bike helmet laws and cities like Dayton, Kettering, Waynesville and Centerville have local laws.

Senator Jones says the bill is pedaling along. It will have its first hearing Wednesday in the State Senate.

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