Three eastern Iowa high school students traveled to the state Capitol building in Des Moines this week to push lawmakers to make changes to Iowa’s helmet law. The girls were all friends of 17-year-old Caroline Found, an Iowa City West High School student killed in a moped crash last August.
Leah Murray says Caroline would appreciate what she and others are doing – pushing for a bill that would require people under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while operating a moped or motorized scooter. “She was just an incredible person, really upbeat and outgoing and willing to help anybody,” Murray said of Found.
Caroline Van Voorhis said she can’t help but wonder if her friend would’ve survived the crash if state law had forced her to wear a helmet. “The helmet law would prevent all communities from going through what we’ve gone through,” Van Voorhis said. “It doesn’t just affect Iowa City, it affects the whole state of Iowa.”
Murray, Van Voorhis and Olivia Lofgren set up a a table in the state Capitol rotunda, where they discussed policy and statistics with lawmakers. “We’re (Iowa) 49th in the nation for money saved and lives saved due to helmet use,” Murray said. “Which is kind of ridiculous considering Iowa is a leader in many other areas of the law.”
Iowa is one of only three states in the nation without helmet regulations.
By Mark Carlson, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids