Charleston, South Carolina’s WCSC reports that one local emergency room physician is giving his support to a proposed bill that would toughen restrictions for young riders of all-terrain-vehicles in that state. Dr. Keith Borg, an emergency room physician at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, told WCSC he would like to see less kids admitted to his hospital with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by ATV accidents.
“We can fix broken bones,” Borg told WCSC. “But we don’t have good treatments for traumatic brain injuries and those losses are devastating and life long.”
According to South Carolina’s health department, 63 children under the age of 17 have died in ATV accidents during the last 10 years. Of these 63 deaths, a staggering 40 percent were children under 9 years old. The state’s traumatic brain injury database reveals that nearly 800 children under 17 received traumatic brain injuries during the same period of time, so nearly 8 percent of pediatric TBIs were caused by ATV accidents.
“It’s horrific both from the data and from a personal perspective and talking to the parents that have had a devastating loss — having a paralyzed child or unfortunately a child that is deceased from an ATV. It’s an accident that is preventable,” Borg told WCSC.
This morning, a bill named Chandler’s law was presented to a Senate subcommittee. Twice vetoed by former governor Mark Stanford, the bill would require young ATV riders to complete an ATV safety course, wear a helmet, and be accompanied by an adult when riding on public land.
South Carolina is one of just six states that has no laws governing the use of ATVs.