Officials push helmets for bicycle riders

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006

Gentle wear-a-helmet reminders will be issued to bicycle riders by county deputies, firefighters, paramedics and police, the chiefs of those departments announced Tuesday.

Using their personal bike wrecks as evidence, two County Council members took time out from campaigning for re-election to urge parents and children to don their helmets before peddling anywhere.

Councilman Michael L. Subin particularly took aim at adults who fasten children — without helmets — into trailers or seats to tag along. Subin (D-At large) of Gaithersburg recently fractured four ribs and punctured a lung in a bicycling run-in with a tree.

Councilwoman Nancy M. Floreen advised adults to carry identification and a mobile phone in addition to wearing helmets. Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park spent a week in intensive care seven years ago after suffering a head injury and breaking her pelvis in a fall on the Capital Crescent Trail.

Maryland law requires that helmets be worn by anyone under 16 while operating a bicycle on roads, bikeways or public property open to pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

But everyone should wear them, the public safety and county officials said.