Where are all the helmets?

Mother questions B.C.'s laws and enforcement around bicycle helmets

I am wondering why there are so many children riding their bikes, scooters, and skateboarding without helmets. My son is 12, and we had been living up on Silver Star but recently moved down into the city.

I cannot believe how many children there are in our neighbourhood and surrounding area who do not wear helmets. A lot of these children are younger than my son, who is 12. My son is one of only two kids I have seen wearing a helmet since we moved here.

When we lived in Edmonton, it was the law that every child under 18 must wear helmets. Parents were fined and it was enforced. Even though we lived in subsidized housing at the time, parents feared getting fined and made sure they weren’t caught letting their children ride without a helmet.

It was reinforced in schools as well. And, it was rare to see a child without a helmet.

So why aren’t things the same way here? Isn’t there a B.C. law about having to wear helmets? Shouldn’t children be adequately protected?

Why do I never see any police or bylaw officer around here doing anything about it? I live by the park at 18/19th Street and 40/41st Avenue.  It is a huge hot spot of full of children just waiting for the next head injury to happen.

So why isn’t this of any concern? I’m very frustrated about this, and I am concerned for these children who are learning that it’s OK not to wear a helmet (nobody else is anyway) and about parents letting their young children go out without any head protection.

This isn’t OK.

We should be expecting a higher quality of care and safety for our youth, and the authorities should be stepping in and raising awareness of this and fining parents… even if it means having the child get off their wheeled vehicular toys and walking them back to their homes to get a helmet until the point is made.

Ignorance of the law excuses no one.

“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” (Nelson Mandela)

 

Jenny Waldemaras, Vernon