There have been dramatic changes in a bill making bicycle helmet use mandatory for kids. The Senate Judiciary Committee has only voted to let cities and counties pass local ordinances requiring helmet use. Senator Larry Miller of Libertyville says it’s ridiculous. Miller says cities and counties already have the authority to pass local bike helmet ordinances, so the bill’s more symbol than substance. But Senator Gene Maddox of Clive disagrees. Maddox says 60 percent of bicycle deaths are due to head injuries. If helmets save lives, why not require helmet use? Senator Steve King of Kyron tried but failed to get the committee to require red, flashing strobe lights on the back of all bicycles. King says motorists often have difficulty seeing bikes on the highway and a flashing rear light would help.