Ordinance requiring life vests being considered by Metro Council - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Ordinance requiring kids to wear life vests being considered by Metro Council

Faith Quire wearing her life vest Faith Quire wearing her life vest
Crystal and Faith Quire Crystal and Faith Quire
Kathy Horrell Kathy Horrell
Councilmember Vicki Aubrey Welch Councilmember Vicki Aubrey Welch
Councilmember James Peden Councilmember James Peden

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A piece of legislation introduced before the Louisville Metro Council could change the way your children swim. After an usually high number of drownings in Kentuckiana, council members will consider an ordinance to require kids under 13 to wear a life jacket.

"In the pool there's not really a current," said 10-year-old Faith Quire. "In here there's a pretty strong current."

Faith is following advice from her older sister about the Ohio River.

"I wear it, I'm older, and you should wear it too," said 16-year-old Crystal Quire. "I'm your role model and you should wear it. You don't want to be drug under in the current or anything."

Kathy Horrell, the aunt of Faith and Crystal, said both of her nieces are good swimmers. But Horrell also said as soon they get to the river the life jacket goes on and stays on.

"You never know what accidents can happen and you want them safe," said Horrell.

Horrell was referring to an accident like the drowning death of 2-year-old Christina Norris who was swept away at Dixie Beach last month. Police tell us she was not wearing a life vest. Her drowning prompted a homicide lieutenant to email the Metro Council asking them to introduce an ordinance requiring kids wear life jackets. Councilmember Vicki Aubrey Welch, co-sponsor of the ordinance, said it could have saved the girl's life. 

"If she'd had her life jacket on they would have been able to step right in and pick her up, but she went right under," said Welch (D-District 13). "I'm sure there was an undertow there and then she was gone." 

The ordinance will head to the Public Safety Committee, but Councilman James Peden says the bill needs some amendments before it is taken up. 

As proposed, the ordinance requires children under 13 to wear a life vest in or around rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, etc. in Jefferson County, but not pools or splash parks. Peden, the chair of the Public Safety Committee, has his concerns, saying it is too vague and cumbersome.

"For a city that calls itself River City, it makes it really difficult to go near the river unless you happen to be carrying a life jacket in the trunk," said Peden.

But the Quire girls will be wearing one with or without the ordinance.

"You never know what can happen," said Faith.

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