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Proposal to help Hoosier kids get bike helmets advances after serious changes

$1M grant to help Indianapolis bike-share program expand
Posted at 4:26 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 16:27:15-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Despite major changes, a bill to help Hoosier children get and wear helmets while riding bicycles passed the Indiana House of Representatives Monday.

The bill had initially given police officers the ability to write $25 tickets to children who don’t have a proper helmet. Police could also impound the child’s bicycle until they show they have a proper helmet.

But that part was removed from the bill last week, even though safety advocates liked the initial version.

Rep. Randy Frye, R-Greensburg, a retired firefighter, said he wants the bill to provide helmets for children across the state. He said some legislators considered a helmet requirement too intrusive by government.

The bill now allows the state’s Fire Prevention and Public Safety Fund, established by the Indiana fire marshal, to support outreach programs about youth helmet safety.

“Although the bill doesn’t go as far as in the original draft, it adds, in my opinion, a great step forward to help us prevent head injuries to our youngest and most vulnerable,” Frye said.

According to the Associated Press, safety advocates wanted the helmet requirement when the bill was heard in a committee. They said that having a state law could encourage helmet use, similar to what happened with seat belt laws in cars.

The bill passed, 92-1. It now heads to the Senate.