Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Aronberg's Legislation to Protect Children on Horses Moves Forward

Senator Dave Aronberg’s (D-Greenacres) legislation to strengthen safety protections for children on horseback passed unanimously in the Senate Agriculture Committee today. “We require children riding bikes to wear helmets. Why shouldn’t we provide these same protections to children riding horses?” Senator Aronberg asked.

Named for Nicole Hornstein, who was killed two years ago after falling from her horse while taking riding lessons, the legislation would require children under 16 to wear helmets when riding horses on public lands. The Wellington teen was not wearing a helmet when she fell.

Since then, the Greenacres Democrat has been actively pushing for passage of the Nicole Hornstein Act, but over the past two years has been unable to win the Legislature’s endorsement of the safety protections. The Senator said he is confident his measure will finally win passage in the 2009 Legislative Session.

“We’ve had to do a lot of educating in Tallahassee,” said Sen. Aronberg. “Fortunately, Nicole’s devoted parents and other loving family members have been dogged in their determination to make sure no family has to suffer such preventable devastation. As support continues to grow, I’m confident that common sense will prevail and we’ll get the legislation passed.”

The measure is sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representative Joseph Abruzzo (D-West Palm Beach).

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