Persistence may eventually pay off – or not. Representative Barbara Marumoto is once again introducing measures to require riders of two-wheeled vehicles to wear helmets (HB 16). HB 17 requires ATV operators to wear helmets. While the medical community agrees that helmets would be a good idea, she is still working on building a critical mass within and without the Capitol. She is certain this good idea will eventually prevail.
Another Marumoto bill restricts minors from riding in ATVs (HB 18). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 16 not operate ATVs because of the large number of injuries and deaths. ATVs are designed for off-road use and are enjoyable recreational activity for residents and tourists. But young people may not have the experience and judgment to be safe drivers.
Earlier this month a 16 year old girl on the Big Island was killed while driving an ATV and her passengers were injured. Her 11 year old sister was critically injured and flown to Queens Hospital and her 4-year old sister was also hurt. Immediate action is called for before ATVs gain popular use by minors – then such a restriction would be more difficult to enact.
Rep. Marumoto wants to keep passengers of all ages from riding in pickup truck beds (HB 15). Several years ago she was successful in restricting those under 13 from riding in truck beds. This year she will once again attempt to extend that ban to Oahu riders (counties over 300,000 population).
Marumoto will also submit HB 19 that has been introduced by others in the past – a measure to require seat belts in school buses.
Marumoto concluded, “traffic accidents cause injury and grief, not to mention increases in no-fault and health insurance premiums. Enacting these measures will cost government and the private sector very little, but will save time, money, pain and anxiety.”