Gov. Eric Holcomb Monday ceremonially signed into law legislation authored by State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) aiming to reduce fatalities of young Hoosiers riding off-road vehicles.
Arnold championed the new law requiring children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while operating an off-road vehicle, such as an ATV. He was joined by Ashlee Bruggenschmidt at Sharon Elementary School in Newburgh for the ceremonial signing. Bruggenschmidt is the principal of Sharon Elementary and is the mother of a young girl who was killed in an off-road vehicle accident in 2016.
“Helmets can save lives and this law encourages Hoosiers to take this precaution to protect children,” Arnold said. “June is recognized as National Safety Month, so the signing of this bill comes at the opportune time to continue raising awareness about how to properly operate off-road vehicles. It’s time to take action and take advantage of the safety measures that are available to us.”
According to Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources, fatalities are on the rise. In 2016, there were 22 deaths resulting from off-road vehicle accidents. Of those 22, only three were wearing helmets. That number is up from 16 the year before and 13 in 2014.
Under the law, effective July 1, owners of off-road vehicles will be responsible for ensuring minors riding or operating ATVs are wearing helmets. There is an exemption for those riding or operating off-road vehicles under the age of 18 if it is for agricultural purposes.
Visit iga.in.gov for more information about this law.