California Laws on Bicycle Helmets: What You Need to Know
A helmet is essential to provide the rider with crucial protection in case of an accident. Many cyclists who die from traffic accidents is because they were not wearing a helmet. What most people do not know is that there are California bicycle laws that they have to follow. These laws state that you always need to have a helmet each time you are on a bicycle.
What is a bicycle in these laws?
Sometimes the legal jargon can be hard to understand unless you read the laws over and over. In these laws, a bicycle is defined as a vehicle a person rides, and it is solely propelled by using human power with the help of gears, a belt, or a chain.
Also, the bicycle should have at least one wheel. It is easy to identify what a bike is, even without reading this legal definition.
Who should wear a bicycle helmet?
According to the law, all riders under 18 years must always wear a bike helmet while on the bicycle. It is not just any helmet, but it has to meet the following certifications:
– The Snell Memorial Foundation Standard (SMF)
– The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
– The American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM)
These certifications will be proudly displayed if a helmet meets the required standards. Always check out to see if a helmet has them first before buying.
In some communities such as Bidwell Park, El Cerrito, and Chico, all cyclists must wear a helmet at all times. It does not matter whether you are an adult or a kid. Make sure you understand the rules about bicycle helmets in your area to be on the safe side.
Are there any legal implications for not wearing a helmet?
Yes, you can be sure to be charged for not wearing a bicycle helmet. The California law permits the officer to dismiss the charges if it is the first violation. Still, the offender has to attend a court session to take an oath and state it is the first offense. After that, the subsequent offenses will attract a fine not exceeding $25. Parents will have to pay the minor’s fee.
Many head injuries we see today as a result of bicycle accidents could have been reduced or prevented if the cyclist had a helmet. The worst part is that jurors tend to perceive cyclists are reckless. Wearing a helmet should send the message that you are a responsible person.
The bottom line is that if you get into any bicycle accident, it is best to protect your rights by getting help from a professional attorney. Take the time to compare different law firms to get one with experience in bicycle crashes.