February 11, 2015

For Immediate Release                                                                                     Contact: Robert Oakes
February 11, 2015                                                                                                               916-651-4025

SACRAMENTO, CA – Adult bicycle riders in California will to have to wear helmets, according to a new bill introduced Wednesday (February 11, 2015).

California since 1994 has mandated that anyone under 18 wear a helmet when riding a bike. Sen. Carol Liu, D- La Cañada Flintridge, has now authored S.B. 192 to extend the helmet requirement to adults and also require all riders to wear reflective clothing when cycling at night.

“Any responsible bicycle rider should wear a helmet,” said Liu, Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “This law will help protect more people and make sure all riders benefit from the head protection that a helmet provides.”

Anyone riding without a helmet could be cited for an infraction and fined up to $25, the same as current law for youth cyclists.

Bicycle rider injuries in traffic accidents have increased steadily in California. Nearly 14,000 bicyclists were hurt in crashes in 2012, up from 11,760 in 2008, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Bicyclists who don’t wear helmets are far more likely to be hurt or killed in accidents. Ninety-one percent of bicyclists killed in 2009 reportedly were not wearing helmets, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported.

Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia require children and teenagers to wear helmets when riding a bike. No states require helmets for adults. The Pediatric Academic Societies, a national group, reported in 2013 that the states with mandatory youth helmet laws had significantly lower rates of fatalities and injuries after bicycle-motor vehicle collisions than states without helmet laws.

S.B 192 requires adult helmets to meet standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is the current state requirement for youth helmets.

Sen. Liu represents about 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, Atwater, Loz Feliz, Sunland-Tujunga, La Crescenta, Montrose, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, Glendora, and Upland.

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