The Oak Park Board of Health recommended the mandate, which would serve educational purposes and not generate any revenue for the village.
In lieu of a fine for kids without helmets, police would simply provide education on the importance of wearing one, according to the village. The Board of Health also recommended that the Village reach out and sponsor programs aimed at schools and other local organizations that provide helmets, education on bike safety, and monitoring compliance with helmet use.
Concerned about the allocation of police resources to enforce the Board of Health's recommendation, village staff asked trustees Monday for direction to review options that would be in keeping with the Board of Health's intentions.
That concern was the focus of some debate among trustees before Village President Anan Abu-Taleb and Trustee Peter Barber voted against the first reading of the recommendation, according to the Wednesday Journal.
Health board member Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah presented a report on bike helmet safety Monday night. While bikes are generally safe, he said bike injuries are a leading cause of emergency room visits in the U.S.
According to crash statistics specific to Oak Park, there were 13 non-incapacitating injuries and three incapacitating injuries due to bike crashes in 2011.
Grivois-Shah's reported that bike helmets have about 88-percent effectiveness in preventing injuries. A $12 helmet, he said, could mean $570 in medical costs incurred because of an injury.