Section IX. Appendices

D. The National SAFE KIDS Campaign Model Mandatory Helmet Legislation for Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Roller Skating and Skateboarding

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ____________________________:

Section 1 . Title

This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Child Helmet Safety Act."

Section 2 . Definitions

As used in this act, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(A) BICYCLE. A human-powered vehicle with two (2) wheels in tandem designed to transport, by the act of pedaling, one (1) or more persons seated on one (1) or more saddle seats on its frame. "Bicycle" includes, but is not limited to, a human-powered vehicle designed to transport by the act of pedaling which has more than two (2) wheels when the vehicle is used on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public road or right-of-way. This also includes a tricycle.

(B) IN-LINE SKATES – ROLLER SKATES. A pair of devices worn on the feet with a set of wheels attached, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, and used to glide or propel the user over the ground.

(C) OPERATOR. A person who travels on a bicycle or tricycle seated on a saddle seat from which that person is intended to and can pedal the bicycle. This includes wearers of roller blades or roller skates and users of skateboards.

(D) OTHER PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY. Any right-of-way other than a public roadway or public bicycle path that is under the jurisdiction and control of the state or a local political subdivision thereof.

(E) PASSENGER. Any person who travels on a bicycle in any manner except as an operator.

(F) PROTECTIVE BICYCLE HELMET. A piece of headgear which meets or exceeds the impact standard for protective bicycle helmets set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission federal safety standard, those developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

(G) PUBLIC BICYCLE PATH. A right-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of the state, or a local political subdivision thereof, for use primarily by bicyclists and pedestrians.

(H) PUBLIC ROADWAY. A right-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of the estate or a local political subdivision thereof for use primarily by motor vehicular traffic.

(I) SKATEBOARD. A set of wheels attached to a platform or flat surface, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, and used to glide or propel the user over the ground.

Section 3 . Purpose

Bicycling, in-line skating, roller skating and skateboarding are associated with death and disability, especially head injury. Head injuries can be prevented by wearing helmets. The purpose of this act is to reduce the incidence of bicycle, in-line skating, roller skates and skateboarding-related death and disability by requiring that, while riding on a bicycle on public roadways, public bicycle paths, or other public right-of-way, all operators, passengers and users wear approved helmets.

Section 4 . Helmet Use Requirements

It is unlawful for any person to use a bicycle, in-line skates, roller skates and skateboards on a public roadway, public bicycle path, other public rights-of-way, under any one of the following conditions: 1, 3

(A) For any person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle, or to use in-line skates, roller skates and skateboards unless at all times the person wears a protective helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet. 2, 3

(B) For any parent or legal guardian of a person ages 17 and under to knowingly permit the person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle, or to use in-line skates, roller skates and skateboards in violation of subdivision (A) of this section.

(C) A local unit of government may adopt standards as strict or more stringent than the requirements of this section.

Section 5 . Equipment Sales or Renting

(A) A person regularly engaged in the business of renting bicycles, in-line skates, roller skates or skateboards hall require each person seeking to rent one or more of these items to provide his or her signature either on the rental form or on a separate form indicating both of the following:

(1) Receipt of a written explanation of the provisions of this act and the penalties for violations.

(2) A statement concerning whether a person ages 17 and under will be an operator or passenger on the bicycle or use in-line skates, roller skates or skateboards in an area where the use of a helmet is required.

(B) A person regularly engaged in the business of renting bicycles, in-line skates, roller skates or skateboards shall provide a helmet to any person who will be an operator or passenger on the bicycle or use the in-line skates, roller skates or skateboards in an area requiring a helmet, if the person does not already have a helmet in his or her possession. A reasonable fee may be charged for the helmet rental.

(C) A person regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles, in-line skates, roller skates or skateboards who complies with this act shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injuries sustained by an operator, passenger or user as a result of the operator's, passenger's or user's failure to wear a helmet or to wear a properly fitted or fastened helmet in violation of this act.

Section 6 . Contributory Negligence

Failure to wear a helmet as described in Section 4 shall not be considered evidence of contributory negligence and shall be inadmissible in any civil action.

Section 7 . Penalties

Violations of Section 4 of this act shall be handled in the following manner:

(A) On the first offense, the violator shall be assessed a fine not to exceed $25.

(B) On the second offense and all subsequent offenses, the violator shall be assessed a fine not to exceed $100.

(C) Fines assessed to violators ages 17 and under will be the legal responsibility of the violator's parent or guardian.

(D) The court may waive the fine on a first offense upon presentation of evidence that the violator has purchased or procured an approved helmet and demonstrates the intention of using the helmet as required by law.

Section 8 . Bicycle Safety Fund

The state shall establish a statewide fund known as the “Bicycle, In-line Skates, Roller Skates and Skateboard Safety Fund.” All monies in this fund shall be used for the following purposes:

(A) To create, improve and sustain a program of bicycle, in-line skates, roller skates and skateboard safety education offered to the public in each county in the state.

(B) To assist low-income families in the purchase and procurement of an approved helmet.

Section 9 . Effective Date

This act shall become effective 90 days from its passage and approval by the Governor, or upon its otherwise becoming a law.


1As of March 10, 1999, all new bicycle helmets manufactured must meet the new U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission federal standard. Helmets meeting ASTM, Snell, or ANSI standards are safe and will be available in stores until March 2002.

2It is acceptable to wear a protective bike helmet when using in-line skates, roller skates or skateboards.

3 Infants under age one do not have neck and back muscles strong enough to support a helmet. Infants should never wear a helmet and should never be a passenger on a bicycle.

Appendix E (PDF)