A new law will go into effect in California in 2019 for those 17-and-under who are not wearing a helmet while riding a bike. Currently, the law states that minors riding a bike are required to wear a helmet, but this new law will change the way those who are not wearing a helmet will be cited.
Prior to this new helmet law going into effect, if a rider received a citation for not wearing a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened, there would be a fine that would not exceed $25. However, when other fees and adjustments were factored in, the fine could go up as high as $200.
What young riders can now expect under the new law is the opportunity to have fines and fees waived if cited for not wearing a helmet. The way they can do this is by having a parent or guardian provide proof that the young rider does own a helmet. The rider will also need to state that this is the first time they have been charged for this infraction and they have attended a bicycle riding safety course.
This new law goes beyond bicycle riders, it also includes those under 18 riding:
- As passengers on a bike
- A non-motorized scooter
- A skateboard
- On in-line skates or roller skates
This new law is a way to get riders to correct an infraction they are breaking. They will have up to 120 days to provide the information needed to the agency who gave the ticket to have the fines removed.
The helmet law for those under 17 in California went into effect in 1993 due to such a significant number of bicycle accidents that resulted in head trauma and injuries.
This new law will not only eliminate fees for minors but will also increase awareness for the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle. It had been feared that there were law enforcement officials reluctant to give a citation to a minor that could result in them paying hundreds of dollars. This new law will allow for increased awareness and continued education on the importance of wearing a helmet while on a bicycle.