The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey has realized the creation of laws relating to its mission and vision. These laws relate to various brain injury topics including: awareness; concussion in youth sports; pediatric acquired brain injury; prevention; services and supports; research; special education; transportation; and the creation of a traumatic brain injury fund. The following provides detail on these laws:
- Raised awareness of brain injury amongst the New Jersey Legislature, the Governor, and the general public by realizing the passage of law that designates the month of March of each year as Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Concussion in Youth Sports
- Decreased the chances of brain injury by realizing law requiring the development of interscholastic athletic head injury safety training program designed to protect student athletes with concussions and mandates continuing education for athletic trainers.
- Shepherded resolutions through the State Senate and General Assembly which encourages school districts in the State to implement baseline cognitive testing which could result in the proper management of concussion thus decreasing the chances of injury and death amongst student athletes.
Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury
- Shepherded resolutions through both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature that encourage Congress and the President to enact the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act of 2011.
- Facilitated prevention of brain injury via skiing by managing a lobbying effort resulting in New Jersey being the first state in the Nation to create law which requires youth under 18 years of age to wear helmets while skiing.
- Broadened prevention of brain injury efforts by changing the age under which children must wear helmets while bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerskating from under 14 to 17.
- Advanced prevention efforts to mandate all automobile passengers wear seatbelts
- Mandated the New Jersey Department of Children & Families to provide information on home visitation resources and shaken baby syndrome to parents of newborn infants. • Reduced the blood alcohol level at which a person is considered to be guilty of drunk driving from 0.10% to 0.08% blood alcohol content.
- Effectively eliminated “pocket bikes” from public roadways.
Services and Supports
- Increased access to community-based brain injury services by realizing a total of $54,000,000 in State and Federal funds being appropriated amongst all State budgets between fiscal years 2004 and 2011.
- Established an 11-member New Jersey State Commission on Brain Injury Research.
- Collaborated with special education professionals in writing special education law resulting in the creation of the New Jersey Special Education & Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force.
- Increased funding to the Senior Citizen and Disabled Resident Transportation Program.
Traumatic Brain Injury Fund
- Created a fund dedicated to helping address the unique needs of people with traumatic brain injury and to raising awareness of brain injury.