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Japan requires bicycle helmets
Detail: A survey by the Tokyo metropolitan government has found that eighty percent of parents have bought bicycle helmets for their children, but only half of all parents actually make their children wear them when riding bikes even though it is obligatory for children under 13 to wear helmets when on bicycles according to the revised Road Traffic Law enacted in June last year.

The major reasons that parents cite for children not wearing helmets were "the riding time is very short," accounting for 49 percent, and "children don't want to wear helmets," at 43 percent. A total of 921 people in their 20s to 40s, who had carried children aged 1 to 6 on bicycles with child seats were asked whether their children had been injured while on bicycles. Eleven percent said their children had been injured and 43 percent said their children had come close to being injured.

The Japan Bicycle Promotion Institute studied the damage caused to a child's head from falling from a bike by using a dummy that simulates a 3-year-old. It found that injuries could be reduced by 50 percent to 60 percent with the use of helmets.

These results have spurred new movements to promote child safety with the metropolitan government's Office for Youth Affairs and Public Safety calling for parents to buy helmets that meet certified safety standards and ensure their children wear them properly, including having the chin strap fit snugly, when they take their children on bicycles or when children ride bicycles on their own.
Source: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090423TDY04303.htm , April 23, 2009
Date: May 1 2009