BICYCLE HELMET LAW: Are children required to wear a bicycle helmet in California?

In California, children are required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle or while riding as a passenger on the back of a bicycle. In fact, California Motor Vehicle Code ß 21212 (a) states:

"A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, nor shall they wear in-line or roller skates, nor ride upon a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard as a passenger, upon a street, bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public bicycle path or trail unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or standards subsequently established by those entities. This requirement also applies to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat that is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle."
 

Our duty as parents, caregivers, attorneys, doctors, and others entrusted with the care of children is to keep them as safe as possible and in preventing bicycle injuries to children. Following the law regarding helmet usage while cycling, skating, skateboarding, or rollerblading will go far in protecting our children. As the law states, the helmet your child wears should conform to the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Be sure the helmet is up to current standards and has the seal from the testing agency. The helmet should snugly fit on your child’s head. There should be no “wiggle room” and the helmet should sit on the forehead, above the eyes by about one inch.

More Legal Questions About Pedestrian & Bicycle Accidents?

Do you have more legal questions about car & motorcycle accident cases?  Return to the Pedestrian & Bicycle Accidents in California Frequently Asked Legal Questions page.