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FOR RELEASE: May 9 , 2006
What: Representatives from key health, medical and injury prevention groups, including Safe Kids Oklahoma, will participate in a news conference on Wednesday concerning the Oklahoma Legislature’s failure to act on safety legislation designed to reduce the number of deaths and injuries to children and teens riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
When: Wednesday, May 10, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Blue Room, State Capitol
Featuring: Dr. Roxie M. Albrecht
Dr. Mark Brandenburg
Kevin S. Smith, D.D.S.
Tamra Weimer, RN, MS, CCRN
Background: The "Children's Safety ATV Act" authored by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Bill Nations, would have required youths under age 18 to wear a helmet when riding on an all-terrain, or ATV, vehicle. It would also have prohibited youths 14 and under from carrying passengers unless the ATV was made for passengers. Parents or responsible adults of minors riding without a helmet could have been charged fines ranging from $25 to $100. More than 25 key health, medical and injury prevention organizations and groups endorsed this legislation. The bill passed 31 to 11 on the Senate floor on March 1, and was passed out of the House Health and Human Services Committee on April 3. However, House leadership declined to let the bill be heard in a publicly recorded vote on the House floor in time for deadline on the measure April 27, thus the measure is now dead. This is a tragic course of action. While the legislature has considered this measure, seven Oklahomans have died on Oklahoma's "killing fields" while riding an ATV, including two children, ages 6 and 12. None of these persons were known to have been wearing a helmet.
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