Friday, October 10, 2003

Blue Ash enacts bike helmet law

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BLUE ASH - City Council's message to young bicyclists: Use your noggin; wear a helmet.

Thursday night, council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance requiring bicyclists under age 16 to wear helmets. Effective immediately, a first violation leads to a warning; a second infraction carries a $25 fine for the child's parent/guardian; three or more violations will cost $50 apiece.

No one spoke against the ordinance at Thursday's meeting.

Blue Ash joins three Greater Cincinnati communities with helmet laws: Glendale, Madeira and Waynesville.

"It was wonderful to see it pass," said Jennifer Ringel, a local pediatrician who spearheaded the ordinance.

She and her supporters applauded after council voted 6-0 to enact the measure. Ringel's nephews, Jake Friedman, age 61/2, and his brother, Seth, 31/2, sat in the audience wearing bike helmets to promote the cause.

After the meeting, Ringel said helmet use would prevent 75 percent of bicycle fatalities and 86 percent of head injuries among children. That's why hundreds of cities and 15 states have enacted bike-helmet laws, Ringel said.


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