‘Miracle’ triggers plea for children to wear helmets

Marlene Burgess is reminding kids to wear a helmet after her grandson was knocked down by a car. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Marlene Burgess is reminding kids to wear a helmet after her grandson was knocked down by a car. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

UPDATE: THE grandmother of a young boy who was hit by a car while crossing a busy road has reiterated the need for a police program to teach young children the dangers of traffic.

"Kids play these computer games where they have to cross the road against traffic and think they can do it in real life," Marlene Burgess said.

"My grandson and his friend were running across the road at McDonalds in Kerr St (Ballina).

"They can't tell how fast the cars are going."

Ms Burgess said they didn't use the crossing.

She is also calling for children to wear helmets when riding bikes and scooters.


INITIAL REPORT: A GRANDMOTHER whose 13-year-old grandson was injured when struck by a car in Ballina last week is pleading for children and teenagers to wear helmets.

Marlene Burgess said her grandson Jackson was riding a scooter alongside a friend on a bike when the pair was hit by a car being driven along Kerr St on Monday afternoon.

"This is one of these nightmare phone calls no parent wants to get," Ms Burgess said.

"Jackson has abrasions and a broken collar bone. How he has no head injuries is a miracle (because) of course he had no helmet on."

Ms Burgess - who declared the driver was not at fault - said her grandson had left the house with a helmet on but had taken it off shortly after.

"Jackson and his friend weren't wearing a helmet and I'm begging the children, I'm begging the children to put their helmets on," Ms Burgess said.

"Because the trauma we feel, the trauma as parents, and the trauma they suffer and that they can suffer if their head hits the ground."

Ms Burgess said she would like to see an education program developed that uses footage of real accidents and injuries to demonstrate to children the full consequences of riding recklessly and not wearing a helmet.

Her plea comes as the NSW Government prepares to introduce new cycling laws increasing the financial penalty for not wearing a helmet.

Due to come into effect on March 1, the laws will mean cyclists can be fined $319, up from $71, for not wearing a helmet or for holding onto a moving car.

The changes will also mean cyclists will have to carry identification, or face fines of $106.

Topics:  bike helmets lismore

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