Section VIII. Legislative Language

A. Austin, Texas

1. Original Ordinance

CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS

ORDINANCE No. 960509-0

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 16-8: BICYCLES, OF THE AUSTIN CITY CODE BY AMENDING SECTION 16-8-1, DEFINITIONS, BY ADDING DEFINITIONS; ADDING NEW SECTION 16-8-27, REQUIRING THE WEARING OF A BICYCLE HELMET; ADDING NEW SECTION 16-8-28, REQUIRING WRITTEN NOTICE OF THIS ORDINANCE; ADDING NEW SECTION 16-8-30, ESTABLISHING HELMET STANDARDS AND PROVIDING A PENALTY.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:

PART 1. That the Austin City Code is amended by adding new definitions to Chapter l6-8-l, as follows:

CHILD means any person fourteen years of age or younger.

DEALER means any commercial establishment that sells or leases new or used bicycles, whether as its principal business activity or in connection with the selling or leasing of other merchandise, from a place of business within the city.

HELMET means a properly fitted bicycle helmet that is not structurally damaged and that conformed to the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Snell

Memorial Foundation or any federal agency having regulatory jurisdiction over bicycle helmets, as applicable, at the time of the manufacture of the helmet.

PARENT means the natural or adoptive parent or court-appointed guardian or conservator of a child.

PUBLIC WAY means any property that is publicly owned or maintained, including a road or highway, a publicly maintained trail, and any public parks facility.

WEARING A HELMET means that the person has a helmet fastened securely to his or her head with the straps of the helmet securely tightened.

PART 2 . That the Austin City Code is hereby amended by adding a new Article III to Chapter 16-8, which reads as follows:

ARTICLE III. BICYCLE HELMETS

Section 16-8-40. Helmet Required.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to operate or ride on a bicycle or in any sidecar, trailer, child carrier, seat or other device attached to a bicycle unless the person is wearing a helmet.

(b) It is unlawful for a parent to permit a child fourteen years of age or younger to operate or ride on a bicycle or in any side car, trailer, carrier, seat or other device attached to a bicycle unless the child is wearing a helmet.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution that the bicycle was not being operated upon a public way at the time of the alleged offense.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section, upon first offense only, that the person owned or has acquired a helmet prior to the court hearing and promises the court that the helmet will be used in the future.

Section 16-8-41. Sale or lease of bicycle by dealer.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any dealer to sell a bicycle, bicycle sidecar, trailer or child carrier without providing a written statement to the purchaser advising of the terms of this section. The statement shall be in a form promulgated by the chief of police. Upon request, the chief of police shall provide a sample of the required form to a dealer. However, printing and distribution of copies shall be at the dealer's expense.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any dealer to lease a bicycle to any person without providing a helmet for the use of each person who will operate or ride on the bicycle or determining that each person who will operate or ride on the bicycle has a helmet available. The dealer may impose an additional fee for use of the helmet if the dealer sells or leases a helmet to the bicycle lessee.

Section 16-8-42. Penalty.

(a) Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be fined an amount not exceeding $50 upon first conviction and an amount not exceeding $100 on the second and each subsequent conviction.

(b) The purpose of this article is to encourage the use of helmets. In keeping with that purpose, the municipal courts are urged to consider deferred dispositions under Article 45.54 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure whenever the circumstances warrant deferred dispositions.

Section 16-8-42. Approval of Standards .

The City Council approves the bicycle helmet Standards promulgated by the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, and the Snell Memorial Foundation that are attached to this Ordinance and directs that the standards be placed on file in Office of the City Clerk.

Section 16-8-42. Civil Actions.

The City Council intends to encourage bicycle safety through the use of helmets and through the promotion of educational efforts. It is the desire of the City Council that this Ordinance not be used in any manner to prejudice any person, child or parent in any civil action arising out of a bicycle accident. The City Council encourages construction of this Ordinance in accordance with the legislative intent as provided in this section.

Section 16-8-45. Warning Notice.

For a period of ninety days following the effective date of this Ordinance, peace officers of the City may issue a warning notice to any person who is operating or riding on a bicycle without a helmet to advise him or her of the terms and effective date of this Ordinance.

PART 3. The City Council waives the requirement imposed by Section 2-2-3 of the Austin City Code of 1992. This Ordinance will not be read on three separate days.

PART 4. The City Council repeals any previous ordinance which conflicts with this ordinance.

PART 5. The enactment of this Ordinance shall not affect rights that were accrued, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun before the effective date of this ordinance. Prior ordinances effectively repealed by this Ordinance will remain in force for the purpose of sustaining any action or prosecution for the enforcement of rights penalties, forfeitures, or liabilities.

PART 6. If any portion of this Ordinance, or its application is held to be invalid, the validity of the remaining portion of this Ordinance or its application shall not be affected.

PART 7. This ordinance shall become effective ten days following the date of its final passage, namely, May 19, 1996.

Section VIII. Legislative Language

A.  Austin, Texas

2. Modified Ordinance (Please note the following included the original language and is included such that the reader is able to how the language was changed)

CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS

ORDINANCE No. 971002-C

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 16-8 OF THE CITY CODE REGARDING BICYCLE HELMETS.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:

PART 1. Section 16-8-l of the City Code is amended to amend the following definition:

CHILD means a [ any ] person younger than 18 years of age who is not and has not been married or who has not had the disabilities of minority removed for general purposes. [ fourteen years of age or younger. ]

PART 2 . Section 16-8-40 of the City Code is amended to read as follows:

§ 16-8-40. HELMET REQUIRED.

(a) A child may not [ It is unlawful for any person to ] operate or ride on a bicycle or in any sidecar, trailer, child carrier, seat or other device attached to a bicycle unless the child [ person ] is wearing a helmet.

(b) A parent may not [ It is unlawful for a parent to ] permit a child [ fourteen years of age or younger ] to operate or ride on a bicycle or in any side car, trailer, carrier, seat or other device attached to a bicycle unless the child is wearing a helmet.

[ (c) It is a defense to prosecution that the bicycle was not being operated upon a public way at the time of the alleged offense.]

[ (d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section, upon first offense only, that the person owned or has acquired a helmet prior to the court hearing and promises the court that the helmet will be used in the future. ]

PART 3 . Section 16-8-41 of the City Code is amended to read as follows:

§ 16-8-41. SALE OR LEASE OF BICYCLE BY DEALER.

(a) A dealer may not [ It shall be unlawful for any dealer to ] sell a bicycle, bicycle sidecar, trailer or child carrier unless the dealer provides [ without providing ] a written statement to the purchaser advising of the terms of this article [ section ]. The statement shall be in a form promulgated by the chief of police. On [ Upon ] request, the chief of police shall provide a sample of the required form to a dealer. However, printing and distribution of copies shall be at the dealer's expense.

(b) A dealer may not [ It shall be unlawful for any dealer to ] lease a bicycle to a [ any ] person for use by a child unless the dealer [ without ] :

(1) provides [ providing ] a helmet for the use of each child [ person ] who will operate or ride on the bicycle ; or

(2) determines [ determining ] that each child [ person ] who will operate or ride on the bicycle has a helmet available.

A [ The ] dealer may impose an additional fee for use of a [ the ] helmet if the dealer sells or leases a helmet to a [ the ] bicycle lessee.

PART 4 . In recognition that punitive bicycle helmet laws may reduce ridership and to encourage the use of helmets through non-punitive means, Section 16-8-42 of the City Code is amended to read as follows:

§ 16-8-42. PENALTY.

(A) A person commits an offense if the person performs an act prohibited by this article or fails to perform an act required by this article. An offense under this article is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $20 on a first conviction and a fine not to exceed $40 on a subsequent conviction. [ Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be fined an amount not exceeding $50 upon first conviction and an amount not exceeding $100 on the second and each subsequent conviction. ]

(B) The Municipal Court may dismiss a charge against a person for an offense under Section 16-8-40 upon receiving proof that:

(1) the defendant acquired a helmet for the child who was operating or riding in violation of Section 16-8-40; and

(2) the defendant acquired the helmet on or before the 30th day after receiving the citation for the violation.

[ (B) ] (C) The purpose of this article is to encourage the use of helmets. In keeping with that purpose, the municipal courts are urged to consider deferred dispositions under Article 45.54 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure whenever the circumstances warrant deferred dispositions.

PART 5 . The Council waives the requirements of Sections 2-2-3 and 2-2-7 of the City Code for this ordinance.

PART 6 . The Council finds that the adverse impact resulting from the restrictions now in place regarding this subject matter pose an immediate threat to the normal commerce and transportation of the community constitutes an emergency. Because of this emergency, this ordinance takes effect immediately on its passage for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.

PASSED AND APPROVED October 2, 1997.