U.S. Bicycle Helmet Laws – State by State


In the United States, there are no Federal statutes regarding the wearing of bicycle helmets. Laws governing the wearing of bicycle helmets are state laws and vary from state to state, and can vary within states. Some states have no state-wide helmet laws, yet some municipalities within states have their own local laws. Some states have state laws as well as local municipal laws. Some states have no helmet laws at all.

Below, for each state we have provided an extract of the relevant state law as well as any penalty that may apply for violation of the laws. A link to the source is provided for each state. You are encouraged to follow those links to learn more about the law as we are only providing the sections regarding the wearing of bicycle helmets.

Note that these laws are for pedal-powered bicycles. These laws may or may not apply to e-bikes, though many jurisdictions already have separate laws for e-bikes.

Help us to help you: The information below is correct as of July 2020. If you notice a change to any law or if any information below is incorrect, please let us know via the contact form.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Alabama

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Summary:
Within the state of Alabama, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. Violations of the law can result in the bicycle being confiscated by the third offense.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Montevallo and Homewood, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.

State Laws:

Statute: Section 32-5A-283
Unlawful for person to use bicycle under certain conditions.
It is unlawful for any person to use a bicycle on a public roadway, public bicycle path, other public rights-of-way, state, city, or county public park under any one of the following conditions:
(1) For any person under the age of 16 years to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle unless at all times the person wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.
(2) For any person to operate a bicycle with a passenger who weighs less than 40 pounds or is less than 40 inches in height unless the passenger is properly seated in and adequately secured in a restraining seat.
(3) For any parent or legal guardian of a person under the age of 16 years to knowingly permit the person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle in violation of subdivision (1) or (2).
(Acts 1995, No. 95-198, p. 306, §4.)

Penalty: Section 32-5A-285
Statewide bicycle safety education program; manner violations handled.
It is the legislative intent to implement an effective statewide bicycle safety education program to reduce disability and death resulting from improper or unsafe bicycle operation. Violations of Section 32-5A-283 shall be handled in the following manner:
(1) On the first offense, the police officer shall counsel and provide written information to the child relative to bicycle helmet safety. The officer shall instruct the child to deliver the written information to the parent.
(2) On the second offense, the police officer shall counsel the child and provide written information on bicycle helmet safety. A warning citation shall be issued to the child to give to the parent. The citation shall instruct the parent or guardian to contact the police department for further information about the law and where to obtain a bicycle helmet.
(3) Beginning on July 1, 1996, upon a third offense, the police officer shall counsel the child, confiscate the bicycle, and take the child to his or her residence. The officer shall then return the bicycle and give a warning ticket to the parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian is unavailable, the ticket shall be left at the residence with instructions to the parent or guardian to pick up the bicycle at the police department.
(4) Beginning on July 1, 1996, upon a fourth offense, the police officer shall confiscate the bicycle, take the child to his or her residence, whereupon a citation for fifty dollars ($50) will be issued to the parent or guardian of the child. No court costs nor fees may be added to the fine or penalty. The fine or penalty shall be waived or suspended if the operator or passenger presents by the court date, proof of purchase or evidence of having provided a protective bicycle helmet or restraining seat and intends to use or causes to be used or intends to cause to be used the helmet as provided by law.
(5) Any fine or penalty monies shall be earmarked and used separately by the local school system for the purpose of safety education or the local municipality for the purchase of helmets for the financially disadvantaged.
(6) The Traffic Safety Center of the University of Montevallo, in conjunction with the Child Safety Institute at Children’s Hospital of Alabama, shall furnish all materials, handouts, brochures, and other information related to bicycle safety used by police departments.
(Acts 1995, No. 95-198, p. 306, §6.)


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Alaska

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Alaska.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Anchorage and Kenai, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

In Bethel, Juneau and Sitka, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Arizona

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Arizona.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Flagstaff, Pima County, Sierra Vista, Tucson and Yuma, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Arkansas

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Arkansas.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in California

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Summary:
Within the state of California, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 18 years of age. First offense violations of the helmet law will be dismissed, subsequent charges will incur a fine of $25.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

Within Upper Bidwell Park, Chico, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age when cycling off the pavement.

State Laws:

Statute: Vehicle Code – VEH
DIVISION 11. RULES OF THE ROAD [21000 – 23336]
CHAPTER 1. Obedience to and Effect of Traffic Laws [21000 – 21296]
ARTICLE 4. Operation of Bicycles [21200 – 21213]

21212.
(a) A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, nor 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.

Penalty: (d) A charge under this section shall be dismissed when the person charged alleges in court, under oath, that the charge against the person is the first charge against that person under this section, unless it is otherwise established in court that the charge is not the first charge against the person.
(e) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (d), a violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25).


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Colorado

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Colorado.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Connecticut

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Summary:
Within the state of Connecticut, bicycle helmets are required for all riders under 16 years of age. Violations of the law may result in a verbal warning to the child’s parent or guardian.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Connecticut.

State Laws:

Statute: Sec. 14-286d.
(b) No child fifteen years of age or under shall operate a bicycle, electric bicycle, nonmotorized scooter, skateboard or electric foot scooter or wear roller skates or in-line skates on the traveled portion of any highway, at a skateboarding park or any park unless such child is wearing properly fitted and fastened protective headgear which conforms to the minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Society for Testing and Materials or the Snell Memorial Foundation’s Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling, as amended from time to time. Failure to comply with this section shall not be a violation or an offense. Failure to wear protective headgear as required by this subsection shall not be considered to be contributory negligence on the part of the parent or the child nor shall such failure be admissible in any civil action.

Penalty:
(c) A law enforcement officer may issue a verbal warning to the parent or guardian of a child that such child has failed to comply with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Delaware

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Summary:
Within the state of Delaware, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 18 years of age. Violations may result in a fine of $25 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses may result in a fine of $50. The court may dismiss charges upon evidence of a helmet purchase.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Delaware.

State Laws:

Statute: § 4198K Helmet requirements.
(a) A person under 18 years of age shall not operate or ride as a passenger upon any bicycle unless that person is wearing an approved, properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet. This requirement shall apply to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat which is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle. For purposes of this section, an “approved helmet” means a bicycle helmet which conforms to the following standards:
(1) A bicycle helmet that was manufactured prior to March 11, 1999, shall meet or exceed the minimum bicycle helmet safety standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), or the Snell Memorial Foundation;
(2) A bicycle helmet that was manufactured on or after March 11, 1999, shall meet or exceed the minimum bicycle helmet safety standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Penalty:
(b) Any parent or guardian who fails to cause the parent’s or guardian’s child to wear a bicycle helmet, as provided herein, shall be fined for the first offense $25, and for each subsequent offense, $50.
(c) The Court may dismiss all charges pursuant to this section upon presentation of evidence that a violator hereof has purchased or obtained a bicycle helmet which meets or exceeds the standards set forth herein subsequent to the violation.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in the District of Columbia

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Summary:
In the District of Columbia, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. Violations may result in a fine of $25 for the parents or guardians of the child.

District Laws:

Statute: § 50–1605. Helmet use requirements.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person under 16 years of age to operate or to be a passenger on a bicycle or any attachment to a bicycle on a public roadway, public bicycle path or other right-of-way, unless that person wears a protective helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any parent or legal guardian of a child under 16 years of age to knowingly permit the child to operate or to be a passenger on a bicycle on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public right-of-way, unless at all times when the child is so engaged, he or she wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.

Penalty:
(c) The parents or legal guardians of any child under 16 years of age found in violation of this section shall be liable for paying a fine of $25. However, the fine shall be suspended for:
(1) First time violators; or
(2) Violators who subsequent to the violation, but prior to the imposition of fine, purchase a helmet of the type required by this subchapter.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Florida

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Summary:
Within the state of Florida, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. Violations may incur a verbal warning, or a fine of $15. A first offense may be dismissed by a court on presenting evidence of a helmet purchase.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Florida.

State Laws:

Statute: 316.2065 Bicycle regulations.—
(d) A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets, final rule, 16 C.F.R. part 1203. A helmet purchased before October 1, 2012, which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z 90.4 Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets adopted by the department may continue to be worn by a bicycle rider or passenger until January 1, 2016. As used in this subsection, the term “passenger” includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.

Penalty:
(e) Law enforcement officers and school crossing guards may issue a bicycle safety brochure and a verbal warning to a bicycle rider or passenger who violates this subsection. A bicycle rider or passenger who violates this subsection may be issued a citation by a law enforcement officer and assessed a fine for a pedestrian violation, as provided in s. 318.18. The court shall dismiss the charge against a bicycle rider or passenger for a first violation of paragraph (d) upon proof of purchase of a bicycle helmet that complies with this subsection.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Georgia

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Summary:
Within the state of Georgia, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. Violators will not be fined or imprisoned.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Georgia.

State Laws:

Statute: § 40-6-296. Lights and other equipment on bicycles
(d) (1) No person under the age of 16 years shall operate or be a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, bicycle path, bicycle lane, or sidewalk under the jurisdiction or control of this state or any local political subdivision thereof without wearing a bicycle helmet.
(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “bicycle helmet” means a piece of protective headgear which meets or exceeds the impact standards for bicycle helmets set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, a person shall be deemed to wear a bicycle helmet only if a bicycle helmet of good fit is fastened securely upon such person’s head with the straps of such bicycle helmet.

Penalty:
(5) Violation of any provision of this subsection shall not constitute negligence per se nor contributory negligence per se or be considered evidence of negligence or liability.
(6) No person under the age of 16 failing to comply with any provision of this subsection shall be fined or imprisoned.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Hawaii

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Summary:
Within the state of Hawaii, bicycle helmets are required for all riders under 16 years of age, and to passengers in a restraining seat or trailer. Violations can incur a fine of up to $25.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Hawaii.

State Laws:

Statute: § 291C-150. Bicycle helmets
(a) No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a bicycle upon a street, bikeway, or any other public property unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that has been tested by a nationally recognized agency such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Safety Council, or the Children’s Safety Network, and is designed to fit the user and protect against head trauma. This requirement also applies to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat that is attached to the bicycle or who rides in a trailer towed by the bicycle.

Penalty:
(c) A violation of this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $25. The parent or legal guardian having control or custody of an unemancipated minor whose conduct violates this section shall be liable for the amount of the fine imposed pursuant to this section.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Idaho

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Idaho.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Illinois

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Illinois.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Chicago, bicycle helmets are only required by bike messengers and delivery people regardless of age.

In Barrington, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 17 years of age.

In Cicero, Inverness and Skokie, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Indiana

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Indiana.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Iowa

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Iowa.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Kansas

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Kansas.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Lawrence, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Kentucky

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Kentucky.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Louisville, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years old riding in any Metro Park. If riding in Louisville Extreme Park, helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Louisiana

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Summary:
Within the state of Louisiana, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 12 years of age. Violators may be issued a citation.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Louisiana.

State Laws:

Statute: RS 32:199
B. With regard to any bicycle used on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public right-of-way, no parent, guardian, or person with legal responsibility for the safety and welfare of a child shall knowingly allow any of the following:
(1) Such child under the age of twelve to operate or ride as a passenger on a bicycle without wearing an approved helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.

Penalty:
D. The issuance of a citation for a violation of this Section shall not be prima facie evidence of negligence. The comparative negligence statutes of Louisiana shall apply in these cases as in all other cases of negligence.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Maine

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Summary:
Within the state of Maine, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. Violations of the law will result in education of the law and safety advice. Second and subsequent offenses may incur a $25 fine, which may be waived if proof of purchase of a helmet is provided.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Maine.

State Laws:

Statute: §2323. Bicyclist and roller skier helmet use
Use of helmet. A person under 16 years of age who is an operator or a passenger on a bicycle or an operator of roller skis on a public roadway or a public bikeway shall wear a helmet of good fit, positioned properly and fastened securely upon the head by helmet straps.

Penalty: §2326. Education; violations and enforcement
A person who violates section 2323, subsection 1 commits a traffic infraction.
1. Education. For a first violation of section 2323, subsection 1, a law enforcement officer may provide safety information to the person. The officer may also inform that person’s parent or guardian about the provisions of this chapter and about where to obtain an appropriate helmet.
2. Forfeiture. For a 2nd or subsequent violation of section 2323, subsection 1, a forfeiture of no more than $25 may be adjudged. The fine may be waived if a person presents proof of purchase of a bicycle helmet since the citation.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Maryland

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Summary:
Within the state of Maryland, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. Violators will be educated about the law and about bicycle helmet use. This law does not apply on the boardwalk of Ocean City as described in (b) below.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Allegany County and Howard County, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

In Montgomery County, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.

In Sykesville, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.

State Laws:

Statute: §21–1207.1
(a) (1) The provisions of this section apply:
(i) At all times while a bicycle is being operated on any highway, bicycle way, or other property open to the public or used by the public for pedestrian or vehicular traffic; and
(ii) To a person under the age of 16 who is riding on a bicycle, including a person under the age of 16 who is a passenger on a bicycle:
1. In a restraining seat attached to the bicycle; or
2. In a trailer being towed by the bicycle.

(b) This section does not apply in the town of Ocean City, Maryland, on the boardwalk between the Ocean City inlet and 27th Street, during the hours in which bicycles are permitted by local ordinance to be operated on the boardwalk.

(c) A person to whom this section applies may not operate or ride as a passenger on a bicycle unless the person is wearing a helmet that meets or exceeds the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American Society for Testing and Materials for protective headgear for use in bicycling.

Penalty:
(d)This section shall be enforced by the issuance of a warning that informs the offender of the requirements of this section and provides educational materials about bicycle helmet use.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Massachusetts

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Summary:
Within the state of Massachusetts, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers over the age of 1 year and younger than 17 years of age. Children under 1 year of age are prohibited from traveling as passengers on a bicycle.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Massachusetts.

State Laws:

Statute: Part I Title XIV Chapter 85 Section 11B
(iii) Any person 16 years of age or younger operating a bicycle or being carried as a passenger on a bicycle on a public way, bicycle path or on any other public right-of-way shall wear a helmet. Said helmet shall fit the person’s head, shall be secured to the person’s head by straps while the bicycle is being operated, and shall meet the standards for helmets established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. These requirements shall not apply to a passenger if the passenger is in an enclosed trailer or other device which adequately holds the passenger in place and protects the passenger’s head from impact in an accident.

Penalty:
(iv) A violation of clause (ii) or (iii) shall not be used as evidence of contributory negligence in any civil action.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Michigan

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Michigan.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Kensington Metropark, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.

In Adrian, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 15 years of age.

In Farmington Hills, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

In East Grand Rapids, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Minnesota

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Minnesota.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Mississippi

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Mississippi.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Hernando, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 17 years of age.

In Jackson, Ridgeland and Starkville, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Missouri

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Missouri.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Columbia and St. Charles, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

In St.Louis County, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists between the age of 1 year through 16 years of age (I.e under 17 but not less than 1 year).

Bicycle helmet laws in municipalities within the St.Louis County get complex with laws changing from one street to the next.

In the following municipalities bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under the age of 17 years: Ballwin, Bella Villa, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Chesterfield, Clayton, Ellisville, Florissant, Hanley Hills, Hazelwood, Moline Acres, Normandy, Northwoods, Norwood Court, Olivette, Overland, Riverview, Rock Hill, St.Louis County Parks, St.John, Webster Groves, Wilber Park, Wildwood.

In Vinita Terrace bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 21 years of age.

In the following municipalities bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age: Bel-Ridge, Berkeley, Black Jack, Calverton Park, Creve Coeur, Glendale, Grantwood Village, Pagedale, Sycamore Hills, Town & Country, Velda City, Velda Village Hills.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Montana

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Montana.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Billings bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Nebraska

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Nebraska.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Nevada

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Nevada.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In the Duckwater Indian Reservation and Reno/Sparks Indian Colony, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 17 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in New Hampshire

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Summary:
Within the state of New Hampshire, bicycle helmets are required for all riders under 16 years of age. Violators will be fined $35.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in New Hampshire.

State Laws:

Statute: 265:144 Riding on Bicycles. –
X. No person less than 16 years of age may operate or ride upon a bicycle on a public way unless he or she wears protective headgear of a type approved by the commissioner of health and human services.

Penalty: 265:153 Penalty. –
II. The maximum fine for a violation of RSA 265:144, X shall be $35 for each occurrence.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in New Jersey

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Summary:
Within the state of New Jersey, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 17 years of age. Penalties for violation include a possible $25 fine for a first offense, and up to a maximum of $100 for subsequent offenses. Fines may be waived if proof of a helmet ownership can be established.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in New Jersey.

State Laws:

Statute: 39 § 4-10.1
a. A person under 17 years of age shall not operate, or ride upon a bicycle as a passenger, unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z90.4 bicycle helmet standard) or the Snell Memorial Foundation’s 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling.  This requirement shall apply to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat which is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle.

Penalty: 39 § 4-10.2
a. A person who violates a requirement of this act shall be warned of the violation by the enforcing official.  The parent or legal guardian of that person also may be fined a maximum of $25 for the person’s first offense and a maximum of $100 for a subsequent offense if it can be shown that the parent or guardian failed to exercise reasonable supervision or control over the person’s conduct.  Penalties provided in this section for a failure to wear a helmet may be waived if an offender or his parent or legal guardian presents suitable proof that an approved helmet was owned at the time of the violation or has been purchased since the violation occurred.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in New Mexico

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Summary:
Within the state of New Mexico, bicycle helmets are required for all riders under 18 years of age. Violators may be fined $10. However, a verbal warning may be given if proof of purchase of a helmet can be given.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Los Alamos County, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.

State Laws:

Statute: 32A-24-3
A. It is unlawful for a parent or legal guardian of a minor to knowingly permit that minor to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle, skates, scooter or skateboard unless that minor wears a well-fitted protective bicycle helmet, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.

Penalty:
B. Except as provided in Subsection C of this section, a parent or legal guardian found guilty of violating Subsection A of this section shall pay a civil penalty of not more than ten dollars ($10.00). Magistrate and municipal courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction.
C. If a violation of Subsection A of this section is a first offense, the magistrate or municipal court may issue a verbal warning or require, in lieu of the fine imposed in Subsection B of this section, that the person found in violation provide proof that a protective helmet has been purchased for use by the minor found on the bicycle, skates, scooter or skateboard without a protective helmet.
D. A municipal court may issue only a verbal warning for a first or later violation.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in New York

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Summary:
Within the state of New York, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers 1 year or older and under 14. Children under 1 are prohibited from being passengers or being carried on a bicycle. Fines of up to $50 will be levied on offenders, however, the court can waive the fine if a helmet has been bought or rented since the date of violation. The court may also waive the fines for reasons of economic hardship.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Suffolk County, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists between the age of 14 years through 17 years of age.

In Guilderland, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 14 years of age.

In Onondaga County-Syracuse, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.

In Eastchester, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 19 years of age.

In Erie County Parks, Greenburgh and Rockland County, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.

State Laws:

Statute: Section 1238 Use of Bicycle Helmets
§ 1238. Passengers on bicycles under one year of age prohibited; passengers and operators under fourteen years of age to wear protective headgear.

2. No person operating a bicycle shall allow a person one or more years of age and less than five years of age to ride as a passenger on a bicycle unless:
(a) such passenger is wearing a helmet meeting standards established by the commissioner. For the purposes of this subdivision wearing a helmet means having a helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the helmet straps; and
(b) such passenger is placed in a separate seat attached to the bicycle and such seat shall have adequate provision for retaining the passenger in place and for protecting the passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle.

5. (a) No person operating a bicycle shall allow a person five or more years of age and less than fourteen years of age to ride as a passenger on a bicycle unless such passenger is wearing a helmet meeting standards established by the commissioner.
(b) No person, one or more years of age and less than fourteen years of age, shall operate a bicycle unless such person is wearing a helmet meeting standards established by the commissioner.
(c) For the purposes of this subdivision wearing a helmet means having a helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the helmet straps.

Penalty:
6. (a) Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision five, five-a, five-b or five-c of this section shall pay a civil fine not to exceed fifty dollars.
(b) The court shall waive any fine for which a person who violates the provisions of subdivision five or subdivision five-c of this section would be liable if such person supplies the court with proof that between the date of violation and the appearance date for such violation such person purchased or rented a helmet.
(c) The court may waive any fine for which a person who violates the provisions of subdivision five, five-a, five-b, or five-c of this section would be liable if the court finds that due to reasons of economic hardship such person was unable to purchase a helmet or due to such economic hardship such person was unable to obtain a helmet from the statewide in-line skate and bicycle helmet distribution program, as established in section two hundred six of the public health law, or a local distribution program. Such waiver of a fine shall not apply to a second or subsequent violation of subdivision five-c of this section.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in North Carolina

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Summary:
Within the state of North Carolina, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. Parents or guardians can be fined $10 for violations, however, the court may choose to waive the fine if it can be proven that a helmet has been purchased or obtained.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Carolina Beach, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Cornelius, Greenville and Matthews, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

In Black Mountain and Boone, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.

State Laws:

Statute: 1§ 20-171.9
With regard to any bicycle used on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public right-of-way:
(a) It shall be unlawful for any parent or legal guardian of a person below the age of 16 to knowingly permit that person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle unless at all times when the person is so engaged he or she wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.

Penalty:
(d) Violation of this section shall be an infraction. Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, any parent or guardian found responsible for violation of this section may be ordered to pay a civil fine of up to ten dollars ($10.00), inclusive of all penalty assessments and court costs.
(e) In the case of a first conviction of this section, the court may waive the fine upon receipt of satisfactory proof that the person responsible for the infraction has purchased or otherwise obtained, as appropriate, a protective bicycle helmet or a restraining seat, and uses and intends to use it whenever required under this section.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in North Dakota

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in North Dakota.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Ohio

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Ohio.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Columbus, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists between the age of 1 year through 17 years of age.

In Orange Village, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists between the age of 6 years through 15 years of age.

In Shaker Heights, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists and passengers over the age of 5 years.

In Strongsville, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 12 years of age.

In Dayton, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 13 years of age.

In Brooklyn, Euclid and South Euclid, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 14 years of age.

In Akron, Beachwood, Bexley, Blue Ash, Cincinnati, Enon, Kettering and Marietta, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

In Madeira and Waynesville, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 17 years of age.

In Brecksville, Centerville, East Cleveland, Lakewood and Pepper Pike, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.

In Glendale, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 19 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Oklahoma

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Oklahoma.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Norman, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.

In Oklahoma City central, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Oregon

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Summary:
Within the state of Oregan, bicycle helmets are required for all riders under 16 years of age. Failure to wear a bicycle helmet will result in a fine of $25.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Oregan.

State laws:

Statute: § 814.485
(1) A person commits the offense of failure of a bicycle operator or rider to wear protective headgear if the person is under 16 years of age, operates or rides on a bicycle on a highway or on premises open to the public and is not wearing protective headgear of a type approved under ORS 815.052.

Penalty:
(3) The offense described in this section, failure of a bicycle operator or rider to wear protective headgear, is a specific fine traffic violation. The presumptive fine for failure of a bicycle operator or rider to wear protective headgear is $25.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Pennsylvania

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Summary:
Within the state of Pennsylvania, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 12 years of age. If the offender purchases a helmet prior to the court hearing any charges will be dismissed. Else, a fine of up to $25 will be levied.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Pennsylvania.

State laws:

Statute: § 3510
(a) General rule.–A person under 12 years of age shall not operate a pedalcycle or ride as a passenger on a pedalcycle unless the person is wearing a pedalcycle helmet meeting the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Snell Memorial Foundation’s Standards for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling or any other nationally recognized standard for pedalcycle helmet approval. This subsection shall also apply to a person who rides:
(1) upon a pedalcycle while in a restraining seat attached to a pedalcycle; or
(2) in a trailer towed by a pedalcycle.

Penalty:
(b.2) Waiver of fine.–If a person receives a citation issued by the proper authority for violation of subsection (a), a magisterial district judge, magistrate or judge shall dismiss the charges if the person prior to or at the person’s hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a helmet meeting the standards prescribed in subsection (a) to such magisterial district judge, magistrate or judge. Sufficient evidence shall include a receipt mailed to the appropriate court officer which evidences purchase or transfer of such a helmet from another helmet owner, evidenced by a notarized letter.

(d) Penalty.–Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, any violation of subsection (a) is punishable by a fine, including all penalties, assessments and court costs imposed on the convicted person not to exceed $25. The parent or legal guardian having control or custody of a person under 12 years of age whose conduct violates this section shall be jointly and severally liable with the person for the amount of the fine imposed.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Rhode Island

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Summary:
Within the state of Rhode Island, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 of age. Violations will be dealt with administratively.
Currently, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in Rhode Island.

State laws:

Statute: § 31-19-2.1
Any person fifteen (15) years of age or younger who is operating or who is a passenger on a bicycle or who is using or operating a skateboard, rollerskates, scooter or inline skates on a public highway, bicycle trail or path, shared use path, park and/or recreational area, school property or on any other public right of way shall wear a helmet. The helmet shall fit the person’s head and shall be secured to the person’s head by straps while the person is operating the bicycle, skateboard, scooter, rollerskates or inline skates. The helmet shall meet the standards for helmets established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or subsequent standards. In no event shall failure to wear a helmet be considered as contributory or comparative negligence, nor shall the failure to wear a helmet be admissible as evidence in the trial of any civil action.

Penalty:
The violations shall be adjudicated administratively.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in South Carolina

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in South Carolina.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in South Dakota

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in South Dakota.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Tennessee

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Summary:
Within the state of Tennessee, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 16 years of age. It is also an offense for a parent or guardian to knowingly allow a child under 12 years of age to ride or be a passenger on a bicycle without a helmet. Violation of the law can incur a fine of $2 plus court costs, a first offense may result in the issue of a warning.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Clarksville, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

State Laws:

Statute: § 55-52-105
With regard to any bicycle operated over any highway, street or sidewalk, it is unlawful:
(1) For any person under sixteen (16) years of age to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle unless at all times when so engaged the person wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet;
(2) For any person to be a passenger on a bicycle unless, with respect to any person who weighs less than forty pounds (40 lbs.), or is less than forty inches (40″) in height, the person can be and is properly seated in and adequately secured to a restraining seat;
(3) For any parent or legal guardian of a person under twelve (12) years of age to knowingly permit the person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle in violation of subdivision (1) or (2).

Penalty: § 55-52-106
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), any adult person violating any requirements set forth in § 55-52-105, commits a violation and shall be assessed a civil penalty of two dollars ($2.00) and court costs.
(b) Upon commission of the first offense within a twelve-month period under § 55-52-105(3), it shall be a defense that the accused has since the date of the violation purchased or provided a protective bicycle helmet or a restraining seat, and uses and intends to use or causes to be used or intends to cause to be used the same as the law requires.
(c) In no event shall failure to wear a protective bicycle helmet or to secure a passenger to a restraining seat be admissible as evidence in a trial of any civil action.
(d) A law enforcement officer observing any violation of this part shall issue a warning to the violator for the first offense and a citation to the violator for the second or subsequent offense, but shall not arrest or take into custody any person solely for a violation of this part.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Texas

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Texas.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Coppell and Southlake, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 15 years of age.

In Bedford, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 16 years of age.

In Benbrook, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 17 years of age.

In Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Utah

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Utah.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Vermont

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Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Vermont.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Virginia

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Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Virginia.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In the following municipalities bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under the age of 15 years:
Albemarle County, Alexandria, Amherst County, Arlington County, Blacksburg, Clarke County, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Floyd County, Front Royal, Hampton, Harrisonburg, James City, County, Luray, Manassas, Manassas Park, Newport News, Norfolk, Orange County, Petersburg, Prince William County, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Stafford County, Vienna, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Wise, York County.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Washington

Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Washington.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:


In Orting, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 17 years of age.

In Poulsbo, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.

In Seatac, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists over the age of 1 year.

In the following municipalities, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age:
Aberdeen, Auburn, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bremerton, Des Moines, DuPont, Duvall, Eatonville, Enumclaw, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Hunts Point, Kent, King County, Lakewood, Pierce County, Port Angeles, Port Orchard, Puyallup, Renton, Seattle, Snohomish (skate park only), Snoqualmie, Steilacoom, University Place, Vancouver, Milton, Spokane, Tacoma.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in West Virginia

Summary:
Within the state of West Virginia, bicycle helmets are required for all riders and passengers under 15 years of age. It is also unlawful for a parent or guardian to knowingly allow a child under 15 years to ride or be a passenger on a bicycle. A first offense may be waived if proof is shown of the purchase of a helmet since the violation. Subsequent offenses may incur a $10 fine or 2 hours community service.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Clarksburg, South Charleston and St.Albans, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 18 years of age.

In Morgantown, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists regardless of age.

State Laws:

Statute: §17C-11A-4
(a) It is unlawful for any person under fifteen years of age to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle or any attachment to a bicycle used on a public roadway, public bicycle path or other public right-of-way unless at all times when the person is so engaged he or she wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.
(b) It is unlawful for any parent or legal guardian of a person under fifteen years of age to knowingly permit such person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle or on any attachment to a bicycle used on a public roadway, public bicycle path or other public right-of-way unless at all times when the person is so engaged he or she wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.

Penalty: §17C-11A-7
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section one, article eighteen of this chapter, any parent or legal guardian violating any requirement set forth in section four of this article shall be fined $10 or be required to perform two hours in community service related to a child injury prevention program which includes injury prevention education or both fined and required to perform such community service. Notwithstanding the provisions of section one, article eleven, chapter eight of this code, no court costs may be assessed to any person violating the requirements of section four of this article.
(b) In the case of a first violation of section four of this article, the court may waive the fine upon receipt of satisfactory proof that the person has a helmet or within a reasonable time from the date of the violation, purchased or otherwise obtained, a protective bicycle helmet.
(c) It is an absolute defense to a charge for a violation of this article that a parent or legal guardian is unable to pay for the protective bicycle helmet. Inability to pay may be demonstrated by the filing of a financial affidavit in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c), section one, article two, chapter fifty-nine of this code. Any person who demonstrates inability to pay shall be referred to the Governor’s highway safety program for assistance in obtaining the appropriate helmet or helmets.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Wisconsin

Summary:
There are no state laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Wisconsin.
Local laws are applied in some jurisdictions, as noted below.

Local laws:

In Port Washington, bicycle helmets are required by all cyclists under 17 years of age.


Bicycle Helmet Laws in Wyoming

Summary:
There are no state or local laws pertaining to bicycle helmets in Wyoming.


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