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Helmet Laws for Bicycle Riders-United States

Author / Coordinator: Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben
Minnesota
March 2007

There is no federal law in the U.S. requiring bicycle helmets. States and localities began adopting laws in 1987, but there is no formal central registry for them. Here are the ones we are aware of as of this date. The States are probably all included, but some localities are likely to be missing. If there are two dates, the second one is the year the law was amended. More info on helmet laws is included after the chart.

 Jurisdiction        Effective Ages/Conditions        Date
==================================================
Alabama
  State Law                Under 16                          1995
  Montevallo                All ages                           1993
  Homewood               All ages                           1994

Arizona
  Tucson                    Under 18                         1993
  Yuma                       Under 18                         1997
 
California
  State Law           Passengers under 5           1987
  State Law           Riders under 18                  1994
  State Law           Scooters, skateboards, In-line skates      2003

Connecticut
  State Law                Under 16                      1993/1997
  City of Seymour      All ages                         1998
            
Delaware
  State Law               Under 16                       1996

District of Columbia     
  State Law    Under 16                                  2000

Florida
  State Law          Under 16                            1997
  (excludes 2 Counties)

Georgia
  State Law                Under 16                      1993

Hawaii                
  State Law                Under 16                      2001

Illinois
  Barrington               Under 17                       1997
  Chicago   All ages (messengers only)   
  Cicero                    Under 16                        1997
  Inverness                Under 16                      1999
  Libertyville    (Incentives only)                     1997
  Skokie                    Under 16                       2002

Kansas
  Lawrence                 Under 15                    2004

Kentucky
  Louisville* (Parks)      Under 18                  2002
  Louisville Extreme Park  All ages                2002

Louisiana
  State Law                 Under 12                   2002

Maine
  State Law                Under 16                    1999

Maryland
  State Law                Under 16                   1995
  Allegany Co              Under 16                   1992
  Howard County            Under 16               1990
  Montgomery Co            Under 18               1991
  Sykesville                All ages                     1995

Massachusetts
  State Law             Passengers under 5      1990
  State Law             Riders under 13            1994

Michigan
  Adrian                   Under 15              1998
  E. Grand Rapids        Under 18              1995
  Farmington Hills *      Under 16              1999
  Kensington Metropark    All Ages              1998

Missouri
  Creve Coeur             All ages *            2000
  St Louis County for
  unincorporated areas   Under 17              2002
  Columbia                 Under 16 *            2003
  Florissant               Under 17              2003

Montana
  Billings                 Under 16              2001

Nevada
  Duckwater Indian Res.   Under 17              2001
  Reno/Sparks Indian      Under 17              2002
     

New Jersey
  State Law                Under 14              1992

New Mexico
  Los Alamos County       Under 18              1995

New York
  State Law            Passengers under 5       1989
  State Law            Riders under 14          1994
  Chemung Co.             Under 15              1995
  Erie County Parks       All ages              1993
  Greenburgh              All ages              1994
  Guilderland             Under 14              1992
  Rockland County         All ages              1992
  Onondaga County         Under 18              2001
  (Syracuse)

North Carolina
  State Law                Under 16              2001
  Black Mountain          All ages              1996
  Boone                    All ages              1995
  Carolina Beach          Under 16              1994
  Carrboro                 Under 16              1997
  Cary                     Under 16              2001
  Chapel Hill              Under 16             1992
  Greenville              Under 16              1998
  Matthews                Under 16              2001
 
Ohio
  Akron                    Under 16              2001
  Beachwood               Under 16              1990
  Blue Ash                 Under 16              2003
  Brecksville              Under 18            1998
 Centerville              Under 16              1999
 Dayton                   Under 13       June 1,2004
 East Cleveland          Under 18     May 1,2004
 Glendale                 Under 19            2000
 Madeira                  Under 17            2002
 Orange Village          Ages 6 to 15          1992
 Shaker Heights          All ages over 5       1997
 Strongsville             Under 12              1993
 Waynesville              Under 17            2000

Oklahoma
 Norman                   Under 18             2003
 Okla. City (city prop. only)  All ages              1999
 

Oregon
  State Law                Under 16             1994

Pennsylvania
  State Law           Passengers under 5        1991
  State Law           Riders under 12           1995

Rhode Island
  State Law                Under 9               1996
  State Law                Under 16              1998

Texas
  Arlington                Under 18              1997
  Austin                   Under 18             1996/97
  Bedford                  Under 16              1996 
  Benbrook                Under 17              1996
  Coppell                  Under 15              1997
  Dallas                   All ages              1996
  Fort Worth               Under 18              1996
  Houston                  Under 18              1995
  Southlake                Under 15              1999

Tennessee
  State Law                Under 16          1994/2000
  Clarksville              All ages              1993

Virginia
  Albemarle County
  Alexandria               Under 15              1994
  Amherst County
  Arlington County        Under 15              1993
  Blacksburg              Under 15              1994
  Clarke County
  Fairfax County          Under 15              1993
  Falls Church            Under 15              1993
  Floyd County
  Front Royal             Under 15              1996
  Hampton                 Under 15              1999
  James City County       Under 15              1999
  Luray
  Manassas                Under 15              1995
  Manassas Park           Under 15              1997
  Newport News            Under 15              1997
  Norfolk                  Under 15              2001
  Orange County
  Petersburg              Under 15              2000
  Prince William Co.      Under 15              1995
  Radford                  Under 15              2000
  Roanoke                 Under 15              2000
  Salem                   Under 15              2000
  Stafford County
  Vienna
  Virginia Beach          Under 15              1995
  Williamsburg            Under 15              2001
  Wise
  York County             Under 15              1994
 
Washington State
  Aberdeen                All ages              2001
  Bainbridge Island       All ages              2001
  Bellevue                 All ages              2002
  Bremerton               All ages              2000
  Des Moines              All ages              1993
  DuPont                   All ages          
  Duvall                   All ages              1993
  Eatonville               Under 16              1996
  Enumclaw                All ages              1993
  Fircrest                 All ages              1995
  Gig Harbor              All ages              1996
  Hunts Point             All ages              1993
  Island County:          All ages  (Rec. only.)        1997
  Kent                     All ages              1999
  King Cnty.(inc.Seattle) All ages              1993/03
  Lakewood                All ages              1996
  Milton                  All ages              1997
  Orting                   Under 17              1997
  Pierce County           All ages              1994
  Port Angeles            All ages              1994
  Poulsbo                  Under 18              1995
  Puyallup                 All ages              1994
  Renton                   All ages              1999
  Seatac                   All ages over 1 yr    1999
  Snohomish skate park    All ages              2002
  Snoqualmie              All ages              1996
  Steilacoom              All ages              1995
  Tacoma                  All ages              1994
  University Place        All ages              1996
 
West Virginia

  State Law                Under 15              1996
  Clarksburg              Under 18              1993
  Morgantown              All ages              1993
  South Charleston        Under 18              1994
  St. Albans               Under 18              1995

Wisconsin
   Port Washington        Under 17              1997

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