“Nicole’s Law” is named for a young girl, Nicole Hornstein, who lost her life as the result of a terrible accident. She fell from a horse but was not wearing a helmet at the time. She suffered a severe head injury and died at the tender age of 12.
The loss of this young life was impetus behind the law. Her father, Gary, made frequent trips to Tallahassee to work with the Florida Senators in getting this bill passed.
This new helmet law is patterned after the bicycle helmet law for youth and requires any child age 16 and under to wear a helmet when they are on a horse on public roads and rights of way as well as when they are taking riding lessons. The fine for anyone allowing a child to ride a horse without a helmet is $500.00.
The Equestrian Medical Safety Association is a strong supporter of helmets for all riders:
Head injuries account for approximately 60% of deaths resulting from equestrian accidents. Properly fitted ASTM/SEI certified helmets can prevent death and reduce the severity of head injuries sustained while riding.