Cycling helmet law for kids planned

Austrian decision-makers have revealed plans to introduce a cycling helmet law for children.Social Democratic (SPÖ) Traffic Minister Doris Bures said in a TV interview yesterday (Sun) that she was in favour of a decree forcing everyone under the age of 10 to wear helmets while cycling.Bures explained that the law was part of a traffic rules reform which will be presented in detail this Wednesday. Asked whether fines would be given for cases of children not wearing helmets, her spokeswoman said the minister wanted to focus on raising people’s risk-awareness. She added that the introduction of “sanctions” for breaches were an option.Critics warn that the implementation of the envisaged law could take a long time as political leaders in Austria’s nine provinces are expected to demand the right to set up individual regulations.Around 4,300 cyclists – including 1,800 kids aged 14 and younger – suffer head injuries in Austria every year, according to information by the Austrian Committee for Traffic Safety (KfV). The organisation also pointed out that nearly two out of three cyclists do not wear helmets.Lower Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Governor Erwin Pröll said already in 2009 he was in favour of a federal cycling helmet law for children under the age of 15.An overall 548 people – including 10 children younger than 14 – lost their lives in all sorts of traffic accidents in the country in 2010.