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Bike helmets required for riders under 15 in Columbia

As the temperatures in mid-Missouri continue to rise, more people are taking advantage and hitting the trails on their bikes.

In Columbia, any rider under 15 years old is required to wear a helmet while riding their bike. Failure to do so could lead to a $5 to $25 fine and the rider could even have their bike impounded.

According to the CDC, nearly two-thirds of all bike-related deaths are caused by head injuries.

“Wearing a helmet is not that difficult to protect something so important,” cyclist Allison Walsh said.

The CDC says teenagers 15 to 19 years old and adults over 40 years old have the highest bicycle death rates.

“I think it’s really worth it since we’ve been in a couple crashes and it really helps,” cyclist Damian said. Damian was riding on the MKT trail with his mom Tamra and brother Gavin. “I’ve had to replace this helmet a couple times because I’ve crashed.”

Research is mixed on whether helmet laws saves lives but many agree they provide a last line of defense against injuries.

“I went off my bike and hit my head straight on the pavement and my helmet split into piece but my head didn’t,” cyclist Derrick Fogle said. Fogle uses his bike and the trail to get to and from work everyday. “You never know when an accident is going to happen and a six-foot fall head first on pavement on a bike is really dangerous.”

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