Friday, August 1, 2014

Child passengers and motorcycle helmets

Illinois is one of the few states that doesn't require a helmet while riding or operating a motorcycle.

While the topic remains up for debate, some think that children should wear a helmet while on board.

Across the state, children are riding on the back of motorcycles without helmets.

Although there have been attempts to establish a law to enforce wearing them, people have fought for the right to decide themselves.

"Due to people fighting for the right to have the option and lobbying efforts or whatever, however you may call it, they've voiced their opinions and made known that they do not wish to have a helmet law and that's, like I said at this point, Illinois has not passed one," Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer said.

While children are spotted on the back of motorcycles daily, most of the injuries are found with adults.

However, if you do face a head injury, there can be severe consequences.

"If you injure your head seriously, than you can suffer a permanent brain injury that could affect your ability to function later on in life permanently, so uh, serious head injuries is a real issue so helmets can really help prevent that I think," Antony Wollaston, an emergency room physician at Blessing Hospital, said.

There is no law currently in progress, but some parents, do enforce their children to wear a helmet.

"I believe that every child that's riding on the road, uh, should have to wear a helmet, uh, it's, it's safer, the child can't make the decision on their own and whether you know, they're wearing a helmet or not so the parent needs to essentially make sure the kid has a helmet on, whether it be on road or off road riding," Andrew Smith, sales manager at TNT Action Sports, said.

Wollaston says in the past year, there have been over 100 injuries and multiple deaths due to motorcycle accidents.

Click here for more information on helmet laws around the country from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Story by KHQA Multimedia Journalist Lauren Kalil.

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