'Play for Kate' law takes effect; mother of girl killed in ATV crash weighs in

Published: Jul. 2, 2017 at 3:58 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2017 at 7:14 AM CDT
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INDIANA (WFIE) - A new law inspired by the death of an 11-year-old Warrick County girl killed in an ATV accident took effect Saturday.

The "Play for Kate" law requires anyone under the age of 18 to wear a helmet when riding an ATV, including any type of off-road vehicle on all public and private properties.

If you're under 18-years-old and caught without a helmet, officers can fine you up to $500.

DNR officers tell us responding to deadly ATV related accidents is something they've all seen too much.

"Seeing a young one lose their life over an ATV accident can be very tough to deal with," DNR Officer Ryan McIntyre told us. "ATVs can be a lot of fun, but you need to make sure you're wearing a helmet and wearing your protective gear. Just be safe," he said.

In 2016, DNR officials tell us 21 lives were lost across the state, making it Indiana's deadliest year for ATV accidents.

In 2015, 16 people were killed in Indiana, including that of Kate Bruggenschmidt, an 11-year-old Boonville girl.

Since then, Kate's mom, Ashlee Bruggenschmidt, has pushed to save future lives. All of her hard work would be known as the "Play for Kate" Law today.

"I'm very excited, but it's very bittersweet," Ashlee told us over the phone Saturday. "We know that this bill isn't going to change Kate's outcome, but we know in our hearts this is going to change the outcome for lots of kids in Indiana."

The "Play for Kate" foundation continues to work with the DNR, hospitals, and health departments to raise awareness in schools and in the community.

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