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Letter: Bike Helmets Are the Law

For most of the warm weather months, I have, as embarrassing as it was for my children, spent a lot of most days asking children on bicycles where their helmets were.

I have been given too many excuses to list and in some instances have been scared enough to call parents.  New York State law requires that bicyclists and in-line skaters 14 years old or younger wear bicycle safety helmets. The parents or guardians of children who break the helmet laws can pay a fine of up to $50.

I have followed my own boys and watched them remove their helmets when they think they are out of my sight.  Their reasoning is because if they wear one, they will be made fun of or the famous quote of all “it’s not cool to wear a bike helmet.”  Cool kids don’t wear bike helmets seems to be the most common answer.  Last week while again I was watching a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old riding along without helmets, I was relieved to see a police officer coming down the block, I thought “finally something will be done.”  Well they waved, helmetless to the officer and instead of telling them about bicycle safety, he waved back and kept going. 

That twisted me to the point that I called the 3rd Precinct and asked them to please let me know if the law has changed and when he said it did not I asked for an explanation. Are our children not a priority , children at this age will listen to a warning from a police officer , but it seems they are too busy driving around to stop. 

Well guess what? Cool kids get hit by cars and get killed. So I am asking the residents of this community to look out their windows, and to call and tell parents their kids took off their helmets. Though they may think so, at this young age, they are not invincible. Call the 3rd Precinct and demand that the helmet laws are respected and enforced.  And if you see one of my boys without their helmets, please without hesitation stop them and call me.  I would rather listen to the rants of my child, than bury him.

Michele Chambers

New Hyde Park