Requiring Helmets For ATV Riders

Thursday, March 15th 2007, 6:34 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Legislation to require children under 18 to wear helmets while riding all-terrain vehicles on public lands and trails moves a step closer to becoming law when it receives strong bipartisan support in the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 82-to-16 Wednesday for the measure that lawmakers say will prevent deaths and injuries to children involved in ATV mishaps in state and municipal parks. 18 people died on ATVs last year, including six under the age of 18.

ATV deaths in the state have steadily risen since 2000, when nine deaths were reported.

The measure is similar to a bill that was approved in the state Senate last year but died in the state House. House leaders said then they disagreed with guidelines that allowed law enforcement authorities to enforce the ATV regulations on private property.

The measure's author, Representative Bill Nations of Norman, says this year's version applies only to the state's 12 public parks and other public lands.