Requiring Protective Helmets

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Should bicycle helmets be made mandatory for all cyclist? That is what two elementary students asked for from their city council, an ordinance enforcing the use of Bicycle Safety helmets for children under 12. So on April 25, 2002, in Richardson, Texas, the city council had decided against an ordinance requiring bicycle helmets for children under 12. Of course they had their reasons for not passing the request made by two young girls. If they would have taken a serious look at the issue, they may have viewed it differently.

Assistant City Manager Mike Wanchick said, "A helmet seems to give a false sense of security to the cyclist, who feel less vulnerable and may ride less cautiously," He then went on to add. "As a result, riders wearing a helmet are more likely to have an accident." (Post) Now, the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) statistics show four states accounted for 40 percent of bicycle deaths in 2000, With Texas as one of them. Yet, Wanchick says that "our basic position is that bicycle safety is a parents' primary obligation," adding " What hurts kids are cars and we need to be working the traffic citations out there* people who are licensed to drive cars, not kids learning to ride bicycles." (Post) Even though 10 of the largest cities in Texas have bicycle-helmet ordinances including Dallas and Fort Worth. But, Richardson Texas choose to not act on this issue, but turn a blind eye to one of the silent injuries and the prevention of it by wearing a simple helmet. The BHSI says the statistics show about 800 bicyclists die in the US every year. Plus another one in eight of the cyclists injured has a brain injury.

The city also cited U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data reports that the number of head injuries to cyclists has increased by 10% percent since 1991, even with the rise in helmet use. Cyclist has declined at the same time, the data indicated, increasing the rate of head injuries per active cyclist though the decade by 51%...
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