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Bicycle helmet requirement approved by House Committee

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HB 52 sponsor Rep. Regina Huff, R-Williamsburg, testifying on the bill beside TJ Floyd, a Kentucky teenager who sustained a traumatic brain injury as a young child.

FRANKFORT—Children under age 12 would be required to wear helmets while riding bicycles under a bill that has passed the House Transportation Committee.

House Bill 52 sponsor Rep. Regina Huff, R-Williamsburg, filed the bill in honor of TJ Floyd, an Oldham County teenager who sustained a traumatic brain injury when he fell off his bike at age seven. TJ was not wearing a helmet when the accident occurred, according to news reports.

“We just want to make sure no one else has to suffer and endure the life-altering accident that TJ has,” said Huff.

HB 52 would not impose fines for not wearing a helmet, said Huff. The intent of the bill is to make cycling safer for children, she said, adding that bicycle helmets are 84 percent effective at protecting the brain from traumatic injury when used properly.

TJ’s mother Heather Floyd told the committee that her son endured multiple surgeries and has cognitive issues as a result of his bicycling accident. She urged passage of HB 52 to prevent similar injuries from happening to other children.

“We aren’t saying don’t let kids play and have fun. They should. But please be safe while doing so,” Floyd said.

HB 52 is identical to Huff’s HB 122, filed last year. That bill passed the House 90-6 but did not become law.

HB 52 now goes to the full House for consideration.

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