How did California bicycle helmet laws change in 2019?

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2020 | Bicycle Accidents |

2019 saw several changes in California helmet laws that affect those who ride bicycles and electric scooters. Lawmakers introduced several new regulations designed to protect riders from serious head injuries, especially in light of the electric scooter-sharing fad common in larger California cities.

ABC News reports that two laws went into effect in 2019 and that each may impact you if you ride a bike, a scooter or are the parent of a child who rides either.

New helmet laws protect minors

Under a new 2019 law known as AB-2989, any person under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when operating a motorized scooter. The helmet must fit properly and snugly to protect the rider’s head. This law also covers minors riding bicycles and skateboards. Adults who ride can decide whether they want to use a helmet but are not required by California law to do so.

Ticketing changes for offending minors

The other new California helmet law, AB-3077, refers to ticketing processes for minors who break the new helmet law. While written law states fees should not exceed $25, ticketing officers may add other fines and fees, which could increase the overall cost. However, the new law also states that parents can have these fines waived if they can prove their child owns and uses a helmet and completes a bicycle riders safety class. Offenders have three months from the date of the ticket to provide proof of helmet ownership and that they successfully completed the safety course.

California lawmakers hope these new regulations will reduce the number of head injuries among minors. Information about the impact of these 2019 laws is not yet available.