“Noggin Knowledge” taught to city residents

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Cst. Melissa Craswell, left, and Operation Headway coordinator Sue Pettit show a helmet and replica jelly brain used during the “Noggin Knowledge” information session at Murphy’s Community Centre Saturday. Individuals who were ticketed by police this past summer for not wearing a helmet while biking were able to have the $120 fine waived if they attended the session. Guardian photo

City residents who were caught biking without a helmet this past summer were taught a bit of “Noggin Knowledge” during an Operation Headway information session at Murphy’s Community Centre Saturday.

The session, which was also held Saturday afternoon in Summerside, saw Operation Headway coordinator Sue Pettit show just how important wearing a helmet can be in preventing brain injuries.

Pettit said About 15 individuals attended the Charlottetown session. Most of them had been ticketed by police this past summer for not wearing a bike helmet.

Individuals had the option of paying the $120 fine, going to court, or attending one of the two sessions and having the fine waived.

Those who attended the session passed around a replica jelly brain to see the consistency, weight, and most importantly, fragility, of their actual brain, said Pettit.

“We passed that around for people to feel and shake it just to see how fragile it (an actual brain) is. A skull really isn’t very thick, the thickest place is about a centimeter, and the thinnest place is on the sides of a head. It’s only about half of that,” said Pettit. “So we use the analogy of an egg… to show how a helmet can give you extra protection.”

Cst. Melissa Craswell said while wearing the helmet is the law, those who attended the meeting also learned the other benefits of wearing one.

“It protects people from any falls off their bicycle or anything of that nature and also saves family members from any stress or hardship they would face, after the fact, if someone did get injured,” said Craswell.

Craswell explained to the group how to properly wear a bike helmet, as well as how it protects the brain. Island EMS paramedics also demonstrated what happens at the scene of a bike crash, while a local physician showed slides of brain injuries resulting from bike crashes.


More to follow in Monday’s edition of The Guardian.

Geographic location: Summerside, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Paula
    October 01, 2012 - 08:38

    My 11 year old son got a ticket for not wearing his helmet over the summer, I had no problem with it when the police officer came to my door and explained to him and us, why he was getting a ticket and what he needed to do. He went to the bike helmet safety seminar on Sat in Summerside and listened to several people speak about how wearing helmets save lives, One man when he was in his 20's fell off his bike and is now partially paralized as a result, he was an adult and made the decision not to wear his helmet and now has to live the rest of his life knowing that just making that decision to wear his helmet would have changed his life, and another man spoke about his grandson who thought he was too cool to wear his helmet and now he is dead because of that decision, so please young and old, you make that decision , but make the right one, so your loved ones do not have to suffer after

  • Dave
    September 30, 2012 - 12:59

    The bike helmet law should be re-written so that only people 17 years of age and younger don't have to wear a helmet when biking, as an adult I shouldn't have to be told or fined it should be my choice. If you can vote you are an adult. I already do pay taxes some of which goes to the hospitals an extra punitive fine isn't necessary. Lots of "dumb-ass" accidents happen which don't include a bike are we going to investigate each one and start charging according to the injury? If so we may as well implement US style hospital system. Most countries where bikes are common don't treat adults as children you wear a helmet if you want to. It is a smart thing to do to wear a bike helmet but being treated as a child is not something people respect.

    • Piet Hein
      September 30, 2012 - 17:15

      Dave, what about all the other laws designed to protect people? Are you saying because you are an adult there should be no impaired driving laws, speed limits (if you are an adult you should be able ti drive as fast as you want), seat belt laws, stop signs and red lights - who needs "em? I suppose you are against anti-smoking laws for adults. (if they want to kill themselves who cares). Dave, when a bike rider gets into an accident and is injured because he was not wearing a helmet ALL taxpayers pay for his medical bills. So Dave, since you are an adult and don't think that you should have to wear a helmet then maybe me and other taxpayers don't think we should have to foot your medical bills. I will make a deal with you - I will support you not wearing a helmet, but in return you have to pay your own medical bills that could run into the thousands of dollars. Fair is fair. By the way, rewrite the first sentence of your post. It does not sound right.

    • Dave
      September 30, 2012 - 23:11

      Oops darn autocorrect obviously I meant the law should apply to anyone 17 and under . No I don't mean drunk driving laws, red lights should be abolished that's a strawman argument. As for smoking, seatbelts or anything that only affects you sure make them optional. The new York times has an article in it today about bicycle helmets and how they discourage bike use. Lack if exercise causes more deaths than people hitting their heads falling if bikes. www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/sunday-review/to-encourage-biking-cities-forget-about-helmets.html?_r=1

  • Bill Kays
    September 30, 2012 - 00:19

    City police have never enforced any bylaws outside of the occasional blitz. Don't expect them to enforce this one either. The message is good, but the enforcement is key.

    • johnny come lately
      September 30, 2012 - 17:39

      Is mandatory helmet usage a municipal bylaw (e.g. City of Charlottetown) or a provincial statute (e.g. province-wide)? In Nova Scotia it is province-wide.

  • Piet Hein
    September 29, 2012 - 16:59

    Events like this are all well and good, but for the life of me I cannot understand why Charlottetown city police refuse to enforce the bicycle helmet law. I ride a bike and always wear a helmet, but I see many riders who flout the law with impunity. Stop and fine riders and more will abide by the law. The same applies to cell phone use while driving. I see drivers all the time on a phone while driving, but they know even if a police officer sees them the chances of being stopped are nil. There is also the attitude that the law applies to everyone else, but not me. These people need to be fined for breaking the law.

  • don
    September 29, 2012 - 16:51

    to me it should be the law if you are injuried on a bike,roller blades,stake board with out a helmet then you MUST pay the bills for ems,hospital etc. wqe as tax payers should not have to pay for your being a DUMB-ASS.