STATEHOUSE (June 6, 2017) – Gov. Eric Holcomb recently ceremonially signed into law legislation co-authored by State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) aiming to reduce fatalities of young Hoosiers riding or operating off-road vehicles.
The new law requires children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while operating an off-road vehicle, such as an ATV. Holcomb signed the new law at Sharon Elementary School in Newburgh and was joined by Bacon and Ashlee Bruggenschmidt. Bruggenschmidt is the principal of Sharon Elementary and is the mother of Kate, a young girl who was killed in 2016 in an off-road vehicle accident.
“After Ashlee told me her heart-breaking story over a year ago, I knew we needed to start working on legislation to save young Hoosier lives,” Bacon said. “This law will not only educate the younger generations about off-road vehicle safety, but hopefully save more lives in the process.”
According to Indiana’s Department of National Resources, there were 22 deaths from off-road vehicle accidents last year. Only three of the 22 victims were wearing helmets.
“Driving an ATV can be extremely dangerous, especially when the appropriate protections aren’t taken,” Bacon said. “Helmets are proven to save lives, and hopefully this law brings awareness in order to prevent more lives from being lost.”
Under the law, 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 for agricultural purposes. This law goes into effect July 1.
State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75,
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.
A high-resolution photo of Bacon can be downloaded by clicking here.