SaSa asked in SportsCycling · 1 decade ago

Do I need to wear a helmet in California?

I''m fifteen going on sixteen in a couple of weeks. Is it illegal to ride w/o a helmet at my age? I have all the other stuff I need on my bike: lights, reflectors, etc...


In case it is illegal, what are the chances of a cop deciding to pull me over?

Update 2:

that would be lying.....but i like it :P

10 Answers

  • McG
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    here is what California says (verbatim):

    § 21212. Bicycle helmets; wearing and selling helmets in conformance with law; violations and penalties; use of penalty collections

    (a) A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, or ride upon a bicycle 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 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z 90.4 bicycle helmet standard), the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling, or the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM F-1447 standard). 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.

    (b) Any helmet sold or offered for sale for use by operators and passengers of bicycles shall be conspicuously labeled in accordance with the standard described in subdivision (a) which shall constitute the manufacturer's certification that the helmet conforms to the applicable safety standards.

    (c) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, for use by an operator or passenger of a bicycle any safety helmet which is not of a type meeting requirements established by this section.

    (d) Any charge under this subdivision 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 subdivision, unless it is otherwise established in court that the charge is not the first charge against the person.

    (e) 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). The parent or legal guardian having control or custody of an unemancipated minor whose conduct violates this section shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for the amount of the fine imposed pursuant to this subdivision.

    (f) Notwithstanding Section 1463 of the Penal Code or any other provision of law, the fines collected for a violation of this section shall be allocated as follows:

    (1) Seventy-two and one-half percent of the amount collected shall be deposited in a special account of the county health department, to be used for bicycle safety education and for assisting low-income families in obtaining approved bicycle helmets for children under the age of 18 years, either on a loan or purchase basis. The county may contract for the implementation of this program, which, to the extent practicable, shall be operated in conjunction with the child passenger restraint program pursuant to Section 27360.

    (2) Two and one-half percent of the amount collected shall be deposited in the county treasury to be used by the county to administer the program described in paragraph (1).

    (3) If the violation occurred within a city, 25 percent of the amount collected shall be transferred to and deposited in the treasury of that city. If the violation occurred in an unincorporated area, this 25 percent shall be deposited and used pursuant to paragraph (1).

    Get caught and there seems to be a $25.00 fine.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have been looking through Yahoo Answers quite a bit lately and I am stunned that I run across these kinds of questions. Asking whether you should wear a helmet or not is like asking, should you wear a seat belt, or should you wash your hands after using the toilet and being messy with it.

    I suppose the people who ask have not had a chance to be involved in a crash of any proportions - let alone one that cracked their helmets in two. Unfortunately for me, I was in such a crash and it was a low speed one at that. I had just started riding and my cyclometer never reached above 14.6 MPH that day. Had I not worn my helmet I would be dead, brain damaged, or a vegetable. Had I not worn my sunglasses then I would have been blind now too.

    Pick up a melon and throw up in the sky as high as you can. Watch it fall and hit the ground. Is the melon now bruised and soft? Is it leaky? Now imagine that is your head. Your head is not much harder. Trust me. Repeat the same experiment with another melon but get it inside a cheap $8 Walmart helmet. Is the melon in better shape? Think your head would be in better shape?

    Yes, you must wear your helmet. It is your responsibility as a bike rider of any kind. You assume a lot of responsibility when you don't and you lay even more down on your parents/legal guardians. You should talk it over with them and make sure they are ok with if your head splits in two on the sidewalk. You vs. concrete, a hard surface, a car, etc... you lose, whatever it is will win. Wear the helmet like badge of honor. Even a cheap helmet is better than nothing.

    Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, if you have to ask, then no, YOU don't have to- but everyone else should!

    I get the idea... people that are older than you wear helmets because they are dumb and don't care about how they look, and people younger than you are made to wear helmets by their parents, right?

    So go ahead, ride away... you'll soon be wearing a different kind of helmet fitted with a drool bucket.

    Source(s): 27 years in the industry
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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes you still need to wear a helmet. The chances of cop pulling you over are slim. If you are pulled over tell them you didn't know because you're not from California.

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  • 3 years ago

    It should not be counted. positioned on a helmet. continuously positioned on a helmet. a million/2 of deaths ensue with-in 2 miles of abode. And it particularly is no longer suitable how briskly or how long your going. positioned on one, your by no ability to relax to die.

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  • 1 decade ago

    you always need to wear a helmet cause of safety and cops

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wear your helmet. If you don't and you crash, your mom and Dad should be liable for the cost of your emergency medical care.

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  • 1 decade ago

    you should wear it cuz not wearing it in known to cause cancer in the state of Calfornia

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  • 1 decade ago

    wear's the law

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  • 1 decade ago

    it depends where you are

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