Advocacy & Safety - Helmet Laws?
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09-04-07, 08:26 AM
This came up this past weekend, when I was visiting my mother in CT. I forgot my helmet back at home in PA, so was riding without one on an old bike that she picked up at a yard sale. As I started riding up one of the main roads, it occurred to me that I might be in violation of some sort of state law regarding helmets. I had more than one run-in with the State Police when I was growing up there, so I know they won't hesitate to stop you if they feel you are in violation of some minor statute. Does anyone know how I can find out what the laws are in various states concerning mandatory helmet use? Are the laws generally age-specific (kids must wear helmets, optional for adults)? My 14-year-old son also rides there when we visit.
09-04-07, 11:11 AM
Nice link, thanks for that. Helmet laws were something I used to get into little spats with fellow students (public health at Hopkins) about. I'm opposed to mandates on adults (but support usage) and a lot of public health people are in the "all helmets, all the time" camp. It's nice to have a single and fairly up-to-date source for the age reqs.
09-05-07, 06:42 AM
Thanks also for the link. I feel the same way - support usage, but oppose mandates.
09-05-07, 01:10 PM
In CT it's 16 and under as mandatory if I remember. I grew up there and haven't had a problem with police there while cycling.
09-07-07, 08:57 AM
So, in NO STATE are adults REQUIRED to wear a helmet, although I won't be moving to Washington state anytime soon - and not just for the helmet law craziness theie either!
09-07-07, 09:12 AM
Recently, a local motorcyclist (helmet-less) was killed when a semi pulled out in fron to of him. This prompted the newspaper to write an editorial supporting mandatory helmet laws. Evidently, the editorial was posted on a motorcyclist board and the paper was swamped with responses. I sent the following letter to the editor in response to the motorcyclists replies.
"The recent West Branch Times editorial suggesting a mandatory helmet law seems to have struck a nerve with the Times’ national audience. As a cyclist (two wheels, no motor), I regularly wear a helmet. But, instead of the government mandating its use, I would prefer that riders (motorized and not) take the initiative to protect themselves. Obviously, a helmet is not going to provide 100 percent protection, but it will decrease the chance of severe head trauma. In most circumstances, a cycle-car collision is not going to end well for the cyclist, but in the instance of a lesser wreck, a helmet can be a life saver. Wearing a helmet is not about eliminating all chances of bodily damage; it is about reducing the possibility of major head injury."
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