Six jurisdictions were selected for this report to reflect the wide range of experiences that jurisdictions have had with bicycle helmet use laws. They were selected based on interviews with national bicycle safety experts, including National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials. The profiles include state and local laws, all-ages laws as well as minors-only laws, laws with different approaches to enforcement, jurisdictions that have used education and/or awareness efforts as a part of a law’s implementation, and even jurisdictions with laws that were not successfully implemented in their communities. For a chart of the jurisdictions and the major provisions of their laws, see Section IV, “Chart Summarizing Jurisdictions Profiled.”
For every jurisdiction, specific areas were explored to provide additional insight into these basic questions:
Section IX C, “Matrix Used for Information Collection,” lists the topics investigated for each jurisdiction.
It is hoped that the views of these knowledgeable observers will prove enlightening to others.
For additional information about bicycle helmet use laws, bicycle helmet promotion programs, and bicycle safety, see Section IX M , “Information Resources.”
This report is based on the experiences of observers and participants who were identified as knowledgeable and credible. The author is indebted to the dozens of individuals who gave of their time and provided the insights that made this report possible. Their contributions are greatly appreciated.
The greatest challenge of this assignment was securing relevant and accurate information. Another major challenge arose in determining how and what to include in the report in the rare instances when information or memories conflicted.
Where possible, confirmation was sought from more than one observer or participant or from a reference source. In situations where differences could not be reconciled and were closer to opinion, perception, or other similarly unverifiable quality, the report attempts to make clear that conflicting opinions existed among those interviewed.
Obviously, limited resources did not permit the participation of every individual who could have made a contribution in these six communities. Therefore, readers are urged to recognize that truth, as with beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder, and these profiles are built on the contributions of a finite number of individuals with varying perspectives.
It is hoped that this report, even with these limitations, can serve as a useful tool to decrease bicycle-related head and brain injuries.