A helmet law for bicyclers?

helmetsNo question wearing a helmet makes bicycle riding safer, much as for motorcycles.

But how much of a Nanny State do Californians want? Motorcycles go much faster, usually are in traffic and are driven by licensed adults.

Bicycles are driven by everyone, but that includes young children literally using training wheels. Current state law mandates that anyone under age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding a bike, or get hit with a $25 fine. But a look around shows it’s roundly ignored.

State Sen. Carol Liu, D-Los Angeles, now has introduced Senate Bill 192. The bill:

“would require every person, regardless of age, to wear a bicycle helmet when operating a bicycle, riding on a bicycle as a passenger, or riding in a trailer towed by a bicycle. The bill would also require a person engaged in these activities in the darkness to wear retroreflective high-visibility safety apparel, as specified.”

It adds:

“Because a violation of this requirement would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”

It’ll be interesting to see if SB192 goes anywhere in a Legislature already ridiculed for enacting close to 1,000 new bills every year, although “just” 754 last year.

Yet that’s fewer than the 2,979 passed in 2014 by Tennessee.


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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 22 February, 2015, 08:20

    Heard they are discussing selling special government store case hardened hemp helmets made in Gambia with a special surcharge to start spotted owl farms in Gurneyville on California Gold pot plots owned and managed by Humboldt State under employed Diversity Studies majors.

    Win Win all around!

    Reply this comment
  2. Ultrawoman
    Ultrawoman 22 February, 2015, 11:27

    Come on!!!! They need to get lives!!!

    Reply this comment
  3. fredtyg
    fredtyg 22 February, 2015, 16:13

    Something some of you may not know: Senator Liu’s supposed inspiration for proposing this law was her nephew who was killed by a drunken driver while riding a bicycle ten years ago. Her nephew WAS WEARING A HELMET.

    Reply this comment
  4. Bart
    Bart 22 February, 2015, 18:12

    Ugh. Can this state get any more ridiculous?

    Reply this comment
  5. dave lutche
    dave lutche 22 February, 2015, 23:26

    enough is enough whats next? life jackets for everyone in or around a lake or river?All pedestrians must wear helmet and reflective clothing ?politicians stop with the stupid laws

    Reply this comment
    • fredtyg
      fredtyg 23 February, 2015, 08:30

      This was being discussed elsewhere and some guy defended the law, saying it was only prudent. Someone else replied that people get head injuries in auto accidents. Should we require helmets while driving a car? The defender didn’t know how to answer that.

      Reply this comment
  6. JimmyDeeOC
    JimmyDeeOC 23 February, 2015, 11:41

    Liu. These people. They are just so…….exhausting.

    I USUALLY wear a helmet, of my own volition, and especially so if I intend to ride on busy roads.

    But if just tooling along on a casual spin along the bike paths of my residential Orange County neighborhood – not so much.

    Won’t be long before Liu invites herself in and does an inventory of my refrigerator. And wags her finger at me while doing so.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 23 February, 2015, 15:10

    Biking pansies are getting too too militant for Uly!

    Reply this comment
  8. troy smith
    troy smith 23 February, 2015, 20:00

    i come from australia where helmets are mandatory and i would wear one even if they didn’t make me. too many [fools] on the road
    just watch the videos and you will see.

    Reply this comment
  9. el Dorko
    el Dorko 24 February, 2015, 05:49

    Down with the nanny state. They get very little right. I would not be surprised if a helmet manufacturer is pushing this new nanny-crapola, just slightly behind the scenes.

    Reply this comment
    • fredtyg
      fredtyg 24 February, 2015, 07:34

      “I would not be surprised if a helmet manufacturer is pushing this new nanny-crapola, just slightly behind the scenes.”

      Very likely. I’ve heard that happens all the time.

      Reply this comment
  10. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 24 February, 2015, 11:11

    If this law saves one kids life then it’s worth it!! I have seen kids die or be seriously injured from bike falls, scooter falls,skateboard falls, etc. All with no helmets. It doesn’t take much to smack your head and suffer an intracranial bleed or other types of serious head injuries. You selfish people who are blinded by your ignorance and are crying about a nanny state are probably the same ones who were against motorcycle helmet laws and seatbelt laws, which have already saved thousands of lives!

    Reply this comment
    • NTHEOC
      NTHEOC 24 February, 2015, 11:13

      My comments go for all ages from training wheel age to adults!!!!!!!!

      Reply this comment
      • JimmyDeeOC
        JimmyDeeOC 24 February, 2015, 13:48

        ” I have seen kids die or be seriously injured from bike falls, scooter falls,skateboard falls, etc”.

        What are you, EMS? (If so, you have an unfair advantage. Hosing people off sidewalks is in your job description. For us civilians, it’s a rarity.

        People are not adverse as you think to using safety equipment. (See my comment above.)

        Now…when should we set up that appointment for you to audit my fridge?

        Reply this comment
    • fredtyg
      fredtyg 24 February, 2015, 14:08

      If this law saves one kids life then it’s worth it!!“.

      I’m not sure I’ve seen very many kids wearing helmets and it’s already been law for how many years? Really works, huh?

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 24 February, 2015, 14:58

        I know it’s already law for kids but my point was I have never responded for a child who fell that was wearing helmet with a serious head injury. I have responded multiple times for children who fell with serious head injuries who were not wearing helmets. So yes, the law works. When I see a kid not wearing a helmet I look no further than the parents! In fact, the parents should be looked at for child endangerment…

        Reply this comment

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Tags assigned to this article:
John SeilerCarol Liubicycle helmet lawSB192

John Seiler

John Seiler

John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for CalWatchDog.com, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles, LewRockwell.com, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email: [email protected]

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