Thousands Call For Mandatory Helmets After U Of A Student Dies In Scooter Accident

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Thousands of students at the University of Arkansas are calling for change after one of their own lost his life in a scooter accident.

University police said a student died Tuesday morning (Sept. 6) after a late-night scooter crash on campus.

"We are devastated to hear about the loss of a student and a member of the Razorback family," said Connor Flocks, Student Government President.

Police said the accident was the first scooter fatality ever at the U of A, but that did not stop many from calling for change. A petition to make helmets mandatory on campus got more than 3,000 signatures in just hours.

"It is encouraging to see members of the student body come together so quickly," Flocks said.

Flocks said student government has seen the petition and is working on ways to help.

"Our mission as student government is to represent the voice and common interest of all students, so that is what we will do here," Flocks said. "The news has definitely inspired students to understand how big of a difference it can make to wear a helmet."

But others said the decision should be left up to the individual.

"I think it is a personal choice. I have never worn a helmet,” said Louis Daley, a scooter owner.

Arkansas law only requires those under 21 wear a helmet and the only mandatory protection required for all scooter riders is protective eye wear.

“Even when I was [under the age of 21]. I think it is a choice for the student to make,” Daley said.

UAPD spokesman Gary Crain said changing the rules with scooter usage would take more than student government support.

"For it to have any legal standing, there would have to be a change in law by the legislature," Crain said.

Flocks said he applauded the student body for calling for change.

"It is encouraging to see members of the community, and members of the student body at large, come together and actively try to make a difference in the life and safety of the students, so an accident like this never happens again," he said.

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