Section VIII. Legislative Language

C. State of Maryland and Maryland Counties

5. MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD. ORDINANCE

Bill No.: 71-90
Concerning: Bicycle Helmets
Draft No. & Date: 6 - 6/6/91
Introduced: October 16, 1990
Enacted: June 4, 1991
Executive: June 14, 1991
Effective: September 13, 1991
Sunset Date: None

COUNTY COUNCIL

FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY

By: Council President Pro Tem Crenca

AN Act to:

(1) require a person who is under age 18 to wear a bicycle helmet when riding or being carried on a bicycle in the County under certain circumstances;

(2) require the County Executive to provide the County Council with a certain report;

(3) make technical and stylistic changes; and

(4) generally amend the bicycle law.

By amending

Montgomery County Code
Chapter 7 Bicycles
Sections 7-1, 7-3, 7-4, and 7-12

By adding

Chapter 7 Bicycles
Sections 7-13 through 7-15

Sec. 1. Chapter 7 is amended as follows:

7-1. Definitions.

In this Chapter:

(a) bicycle means a vehicle designed:
(1) to be propelled only by human power;
(2) to carry one or more persons; and
(3) with 2 wheels, one of which is at least 16 inches in diameter; and

(b) bicycle helmet means a protective helmet designed for bicycle riders that is approved by the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, or found by the Director of the Department of Transportation to meet an equivalent standard.

* * *

7-3. Bicycle Helmets.

A person who is under age 18 must wear a bicycle helmet when riding or being carried on a bicycle, including a bicycle with training wheels, on a public street, right-of-way, or bicycle path in the County.

7-4. Persons providing bicycles for hire.

A person who provides bicycles for hire must:

(a) not rent a bicycle to a person unless every person who is under age 18 and will ride or be carried on the bicycle has a bicycle helmet; and

(b) register under this Chapter every bicycle provided for hire.

* * *

7-12. Enforcement - bicycle registration.

(a) County Police. The County Police Department must enforce the bicycle registration requirements of this Chapter.

(b) Penalties. Any violation of a bicycle registration requirement of this Chapter is a class C violation.

(c) Impoundment. The County Police Department may impound any unregistered bicycle until the bicycle is properly registered. The Police Department must give an impounding receipt to the owner or operator of the unregistered bicycle. The Police Department must hold an unregistered bicycle until it is registered or the bicycle is disposed of as otherwise provided by law.

7-13. Enforcement - bicycle helmet.

(a) Enforcement. The County Police Department must enforce the bicycle helmet requirements of this Chapter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Police may enforce the bicycle helmet requirements on Maryland- National Capital Park and Planning Commission property.

(b) Penalty. Any violation of a bicycle helmet requirement of this Chapter is a class C violation.

(c) Waiver. The fine for a person's first violation of a bicycle helmet requirement of this Chapter must be waived if:

(1) the person charged:

(A) is a minor; and
(B) produces proof that they have obtained a bicycle helmet for their use; or

(2) the person charged:

(A) is the parent or guardian of a minor; and
(B) produces proof that they have obtained a bicycle helmet for use by that minor.

7-14. Parental responsibility.

A parent or guardian of a minor must not knowingly allow that minor to violate this Chapter.

7-15. Evidence of negligence.

Failure of a person to use a bicycle helmet as required by this Chapter, or evidence that a parent or guardian of a minor knowingly allowed the minor to violate a bicycle helmet requirement of this Chapter, must not:

(a) be considered evidence of negligence;
(b) be considered evidence of contributory negligence;
(c) limit liability of a party or an insurer; or
(d) diminish recovery for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle.

Sec. 2. The County Executive must make information about bicycle helmet discount coupon and giveaway programs available to community groups and to the schools.

Sec. 3. Transition period.

During the first 90 days after the effective date of this act, the penalty for violating a bicycle helmet requirement in this act is limited to a warning that:

(a) informs the minor and the minor's parent or guardian about the bicycle helmet requirements of the act; and

(b) provides educational materials about bicycle helmet use.

Sec. 4. Evaluation.

The County Executive must report to the County Council on implementation and experience with this act 18 months after the effective date.