I have noted with considerable dismay the comments made by individuals criticizing the mandatory bicycle helmet law passed by the Howard County Council.

Perhaps these critics should have stood with me in the emergency room of the University Community Hospital in Tampa, Fla., on April 27, and heard a neurosurgeon relate that my 22-year-old daughter "has substantial head injuries." She had been hit by a car six hours earlier while riding her bicycle from her residence to the University of South Florida, where she was a student and due to graduate the next day.

She never made her graduation, but, by the grace of God, she is alive. For you see, Sharon always wore a helmet when riding her bicycle.

Sharon's four doctors, as well as the deputy sheriff who investigated the accident, are unanimous in the opinion that she would not have survived without this helmet. Her injuries were extremely serious and included abrasions and contusions from head to foot, as well as massive bruising. While it is a miracle that she did not sustain any broken bones, she did have a concussion and suffered multiple cerebral hematomas. She spent four days in the intensive care unit of the hospital and three more days in a private room. She will need follow-up care for some time.

The $50 that I spent on her helmet was the best investment I ever made. For you see, this clearly saved my daughter's life. And I could not be more grateful.

I hope that other local jurisdictions choose to follow the enlightened lead of Howard County. WILLIAM A. NEAL Silver Spring