New helmet law goes into effect in January

archive_import /

With a new California law passed last week, anyone under 18 riding a bicycle, skateboard, scooter or any other wheeled contraption must have a helmet firmly strapped to his or her head or face a fine.

Previously, only bicyclists were required to wear helmets.

Mike Russell, director of the Tuolumne County Recreation Department, says he will be glad when the new law goes into effect in January.

Currently, the Recreation Department is required to post a sign at the Sonora Skate Park stating that helmets and protective pads and guards are required, but the department cannot enforce the rules without leaving the county vulnerable to lawsuits.

"There's a California state law that does not allow municipalities to regulate skate parks without taking full responsibility." Russell said. "In my opinion, this is not a very well thought-out requirement."

The new law, enforceable by police, levies a $25 fine against children caught wheeling around without a helmet, although the fine can be waived for first-time offenders. If a bare-headed law breaker cannot come up with the cash, payment responsibility falls to parents.

Some 72 percent of the fines will be used to fund safety education campaigns and programs to buy helmets for low-income children. The rest will go towards administration costs of the new law.

The bill was written by Sen. Jack O'Connell, D-San Luis Obispo. He said he wrote the law after a young child in his district was hurt falling off a scooter.

11701147
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Sunday May 1, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
New $65M courthouse to open by end of 2019

04/26/2016

State officials are working with architectural consultants on final designs for a ... more

Lake is full, marina is open

04/26/2016

The temperature was in the high 20s Tuesday morning when Jacob Hartley, ... more

Increased pulse flows for fish begin on Stanislaus River

04/26/2016

Agencies that control flows on the Stanislaus River below Tulloch and New ... more

Rim Fire recovery plan released

04/28/2016

Federal custodians of the Stanislaus National Forest are publishing a plan today ... more

Director resigns as infighting continues

04/27/2016

Bryan Adcox has resigned from the Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors ... more