California's Bicycle Helmet Law
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
California’s bicycle helmet law called “Youth Bicycle Helmets: Minors” (VC §21212) is relatively straightforward and easily followed. The law can be found here:
Though the equipment is called a “bicycle helmet,” it applies to the use, either as the operator or a passenger, of bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, a skateboard, in-line skates and/or roller skates.
California Law defines a “minor” as anyone under the age of 18. Under California Law, any minor who is using one of those vehicles on a street, bikeway, or any other public path or trail must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet. That bicycle helmet must meet the standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or standards subsequently established by them.
The first violation of the helmet requirement will receive a warning but no fine. Each subsequent violation will receive a fine of up to $25.00. Finally, the parent or legal guardian having control or custody of an unemancipated minor who violates this law is jointly and severally liable for the fine.
DO’S AND DON’TS
DO review the California Statute requiring Youth Bicycle Helmets for minors here: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21212.htm
DO understand that the statute applies to “minors” – persons under the age of 18 years.
DO understand that the law applies to the use by operation or riding as a passenger on a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, a skateboard, in-line skates and/or roller skates.
DO purchase a bicycle helmet meeting the standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
DON’T purchase a bicycle helmet from anyone other than a reputable bicycle shop or reputable sportswear vender/retailer.
DO ensure that your bicycle helmet fits well and is fastened when you operate or are a passenger on one of the subject vehicles.
DO understand that your first violation will receive a warning but no fine.
DO understand that each subsequent violation will result in a fine of up to $25.00.
DO realize that parents or a legal guardian with control/custody of an unemancipated minor who violates this law is jointly and severally liable for the fine.
By Kathy Catanzarite
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.