Posted On: June 21, 2007 by Mark R. McKenna

New Jersey Passes Law Banning Quick-Release Hubs

Following up on an earlier post, quick-release hubs on the front wheels of bicycles can be a serious safety hazard. If the hubs are not properly tightened by the bike retailer, or are not properly designed by the bicycle manufacturer with safety devices to prevent sudden disengagement, or if neither the retailer nor manufacturer properly warns the user of how to properly check the hub, the front wheel can fall off.

Bicyclists who have had the front wheel come off can fall forward or over the front handlebars, suffering severe head and spine injuries, and fractures. The bicycle retailer and manufacturer can be liable for negligence when such injuries occur.

The New Jersey State Assembly just passed a bill that would prohibit the sale of bikes equiped with quick-release wheels to children. The bill cites over 100 accidents related to quick-release hubs. The bill would require adult bikes with the quick-release wheels to have a secondary safety mechanism to prevent the front wheel from falling off.

The secondary safety mechanism would activate automatically if the pin intended to hold the wheel failed, according to the bill.

The intent, Moriarty said, is to increase bike safety and prevent children from sustaining life-altering injuries after falling off bikes with quick-release wheels.

"There is safer technology out there and I think we should use it to prevent accidents to children as well as adults," Moriarty said. "As we find safer technology for cars, we put it in there. If it were up to some car companies, we still wouldn't have seat belts or airbags."

From CourierPostOnline.com, Meg Huelsman, "Bicycle Bill Confuses Owners."

Also, SHOK (Stop Hurting Our Kids) is a group of parents from across America who have started a website speaking out against Wal-Mart's sales of children's bicycles with quick-release hubs. The site has testimonials from parents whose children were severely injured on bicycles with quick-release hubs where the front wheel came off of the bike.

The site lists bicycle models, sold by Wal-Mart, that the group believes to be dangerous and involved in serious injuries.

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