Proposed bill would allow children to ride ATVs with no helmet if they are wearing a seatbelt

Doctors urge lawmakers to say 'no'
Posted at 10:50 PM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 22:52:16-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- A proposed bill would lift helmet restrictions for ATV and other off-road vehicle riders, but Doctors at Indiana University Health are urging lawmakers to say "no" because of the risk it poses to children. 

The proposal would make it legal for children to operate or ride on ATVs and other off-road vehicles without wearing a helmet if they’re using other safety equipment.

Specifically, children eight years old and up wouldn’t have to wear a helmet as long as they are wearing a seatbelt.

Children under the age of eight would have to wear a helmet unless they were in a child restraint system.

Current law requires anyone under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while riding an ATV or off-road vehicle.

Doctor Corey Showalter with Riley Children’s Health says the bill poses a dangerous risk for children, who often have the most devastating injuries from ATV accidents.

“Some of these injuries are life-threatening. Some lead to children with life-long problems,” said Showalter. “We have a teen who still has a severe speech impediment and other physical problems.”

The plan has not yet been called as part of this year’s legislative session.