Dead boy on a bike: the debate around the mandatory helmet is raised

Garçon mort à vélo: le débat autour du casque obligatoire est relancé

The accident which claimed the life Thursday to a young cyclist of 12 years in Repentigny raise the debate of wearing a helmet mandatory in Quebec.

The boy, who was carrying books to the library, riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, in the direction of traffic, when a truck from the City who was conducting a right turn struck him.

According to an eyewitness, the young cyclist has suffered a violent blow to the head and was not wearing a helmet.

For the business man and famous cyclist Louis Garneau, the wearing of a helmet would have saved her life.

“I am saddened by the death of the young cyclist. The helmet it might have saved the life. It is necessary that the government starts its awareness campaign”, he said in a written statement sent to TVA Nouvelles.

Louis Garneau, who has himself been the victim of a serious bicycle accident in July 2018, is believed to have been saved by his helmet.

If doctors pediatric want to see the helmet become mandatory in the province, the government has refused to implement such a measure two years ago.

Vélo Québec against the obligation

For Vélo Québec, the best way to protect cyclists is not to force the headphone port, but rather to establish cycling facilities safe.

“Vélo Québec is not against the wearing of helmets and encourage everyone to wear a bicycle helmet. When we speak about a law that would make it mandatory, there we don’t agree”, said Magali Brebonne, programme officer for the organization.

“All the experts say, the approach is in environments, to create cycle routes that are safe, this is the kind of questions one should ask. There is a lot of fun and energy that is lost around the port of the helmet,” said Ms. Brebonne.

According to the organization, the rate of people wearing the helmet how voluntary continues to grow in the province. It is 53 % in the general population.

“In 5 to 9 years of age, it is returned to 78 %,” said Ms. Brebonne.

The number of deaths in cycling is relatively stable in Québec: 10 cyclists were killed on the roads of the province in 2017, 20 in 2018, and a little less, or eight by 2019, according to data from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).

A specialist for the obligation

For Gwenaëlle Trottet, a specialist in the evolution of trauma care at the CHU Sainte-Justine, there is no doubt, the helmet should be mandatory because it can reduce head traumas and fractures of the face.

“The helmet helps protect the brain and the bones of the head. It will help absorb the first shock. […] It should be mandatory for children and for parents. Parents should set an example to their children,” she explains in an interview on the airwaves of LCN.

“If the parents showed by example, to wear a helmet, it would be natural, like the seat belt that we put in a auto has become automatic. When you climb on a bike, it should be automatic to wear the helmet,” insists Ms. Trottet.

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