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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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‘Conor’s Law’ for Helmet Safety Passes Transportation Committee on Unanimous, Bipartisan Vote

A bill introduced by state Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) at the behest of Ledyard mother Holly Irwin and which requires children under 15 years old to wear helmets while riding a skate board, while roller-skating or inline skating passed the Transportation Committee today on a unanimous and bipartisan 35-0 vote and now heads to the floor of the House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill was introduced by Ms. Irwin in memory of her son Conor, an accomplished student-athlete who died at the age of 14 following an accidental fall from his skateboard.

The Transportation Committee agreed to re-name the helmet portion of the bill as ‘Conor’s Law.’

“The unanimous and bipartisan support for this bill is a tribute to Conor’s memory and to the sincere and heartfelt advocacy of his mom, Holly. Today’s vote is a good sign that this bill will move forward in the legislature and hopefully be signed into law, which I believe it should be,” Sen. Osten said. “As Holly testified at the public hearing, the number of kids who are injured in skateboard accidents every year numbers in the tens of thousands. Concussions, traumatic brain injuries and even death are not uncommon. All it takes is a helmet to limit the impact of some of these accidents, just like we already require for bike riders. So I’m thankful for the speed and the resolve with which this bill passed out of committee, and I look forward to its successful passage by the legislature as a whole.”

At the March 5 public hearing on the bill, Ms. Irwin told the life story of her son Conor, an active student-athlete who played many sports and who always wore a variety of helmets, but did not wear one when skateboarding, in part because it is not required by law. He died in December 2016, 10 days after suffering a head injury following a fall from his skateboard.

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