Do You Have To Wear A Helmet On A Bicycle? – Helmet Laws by State

Are you an outsider in the United States who prefers to use bicycle for your daily commute? Then you must be probably wondering about the bicycle laws in the country. Your head might often get spiked with the question “Do you have to wear a helmet on a bicycle?” Well, the simple answer to it is that it depends on the state you live in because each state has different laws. These laws possess not only interstate differences but also intrastate differences. Further, some states have zero laws relevant to helmets.

Do You Have To Wear A Helmet On A Bicycle - Helmet Laws by State - Featured Image

The following description will let you know about all of the bicycle helmet laws by state in USA. These laws are specifically for pedal-operated bicycles and not electric ones. There are around 51 states in the US that possess unique and indifferent helmet-wearing laws.

All of these are explained below, and the states that have no law system are also described in further detail. You can read and understand the descriptions of law statements. If you are looking for authentic laws related to bicycle helmets, this is the best place to look for.

Contents

Do You Have To Wear A Helmet On A Bicycle? – Getting Started

There are around 51 states in the US, and all of them differ in the laws for bicycle helmets.  I have tried my best to explain each and every state in the details below. You can either directly jump onto the State or can go with the thorough reading of all laws in each state to make sure you know about every law related to bicycle helmets in the US.

Note: For mountain bikers, it is highly recommended to wear full face mountain bike helmet

Bike Helmet Law in Alabama

Alabama is a state where helmets are compulsory for all children under the age of 16 riding bicycles. Some of the cities of this state, such as Homewood and Montivello make it necessary for everyone to wear a helmet regardless of their current age.

The violation of these bike rules in Alabama can result in confiscation of the bicycle. Further, the riding of a bike on a public pathway, public roadways, public parks, and other public areas is unlawful and is not really appreciated. In case of violation, a monetary charge is applied.

Bike Helmet Law in Alaska

As such, no bicycle helmet laws are applicable in Alaska. Whereas some of the local regulations have been seen in some governments of Alaska. Such as,

  • Kenai and Anchorage: These jurisdictions demand helmets from every cyclist under the age of 16.
  • Juneau, Bethel, and Sitka: The bicycle helmets are compulsory for every cyclist under the age of 18.

Bike Helmet Law in Arizona

Like Alaska, there are no bicycle helmet laws in Arizona state too. Some of the jurisdictions possess some local laws related to bicycle helmets. Such as:

  • Pima County, Flagstaff, Sierra Vista, Yuma, and Tucson: All of these States implement the compulsion of wearing a helmet on all cyclists under the age of 18 years.

Bike Helmet Law in Arkansas

Arkansas is a state where there are no bicycle laws. Neither state laws nor local laws for cyclists.

Bike Helmet Law in California

California state law says that bicycle helmets are compulsory for everyone who is riding a bicycle under the age of 18.

The first violence will be ignored and dismissed. At the same time, the second and more times of violence will be fined $25 each time.

Moreover, some of the local laws are also applicable in some of the rules and regulations in the state of California, such as,

  • Chico and Upper Bidwell Park: They implement the law in which wearing a helmet is compulsory regardless of the cyclist’s age. It means you must have to wear a helmet whenever you’re going out cycling in these regions of California.

Bike Helmet Law in Colorado

No single law under local laws or state laws regarding wearing helmet exists in the state of Colorado bike laws.

Bike Helmet Law in Connecticut

Under the age of 16 years, wearing a bicycle helmet is compulsory and essential for every rider while living in the state of Connecticut. If the violation occurs, no strict rules are followed; instead, a stern warning is given to the guardian or the parents of the cyclist. At the same time, no local bike helmet laws exist in this state.

Bike Helmet Law in Delaware

Bicycle helmets are compulsory for everyone in the state of Delaware under the age of 18. In case of violation, $25 will be the fine to the rider when the violation is done for the first time. In case of subsequent offenses, $50 will be the fine charged to the cyclist.

Moreover, one unique thing in this state of Delaware regarding bicycle helmets is that after the violation of rules, if you show proof of owning a helmet, the court can dismiss the alleged charge. Further, there are no local laws in Delaware State for bicycle helmets.

Other Bike Laws in Delaware

Bike helmet laws in Delaware

You can read more about Delaware bike laws on Delaware government official website!

Bike Helmet Law in Columbia

Here in this state of Columbia, bicycle helmets are compulsory under the age of 16 for all passengers and riders. Otherwise, $25 will be the fine charged not to the rider but to the guardian or the parent of the cyclist.

Bike Helmet Law in Florida

Florida says that the wearing of a bicycle helmet is compulsory under 16 years of age for all cyclists who are riding bicycles. There are two types of penalties that you have to face in case of violation of the bicycle helmet rules in Florida. You either will get a verbal warning or can get a fine of $15.

Moreover, the first violation is generally ignored in case the rider shows evidence of purchasing the helmet. Additionally, no local laws are present in relevance to bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in Georgia

You have to wear a bicycle helmet if you are under 16 while living in the state of Georgia. If violations of bike laws in Georgia occur, there are high chances of getting imprisoned or fined. Further, there are no local laws related to bicycle helmets in this state.

Bike Helmet Law in Hawaii

In this state of Hawaii, you need to wear a helmet if you are under 16 and riding a bicycle. This is another state with slightly different bike laws than others. The law says the rider and the one who is there on a restraining seat; will both wear helmets. Otherwise, a violation occurs, and you will be fined $25. Further, you will find no local bike laws in Hawaii for bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in Idaho

Idaho consists of no local and state laws related to bicycle helmets. It means there is no compulsion to wear a helmet if you are riding a bicycle in the state of Idaho.

Bike Helmet Law in Illinois

Although there are no Illinois state bike laws for bicycle helmets that are present in the state of Illinois, alternatively, you will find some of the local laws in some specific jurisdictions of the state. Such as,

  • Chicago: It is a place where you have to wear a helmet if you are a bike messenger or a delivery person without the boundary of age.
  • Barrington: The rules here force everyone to wear a helmet under 17 years of age to ride a bicycle.
  • Cicero, Skokie, and Inverness: In these States, you must have to wear a bicycle helmet while riding if you are under 16.

Bike Helmet Law in Indiana

Neither state nor local bike laws exist in the state of Indiana for bicycle helmets. You are free from wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle.

Bike Helmet Law in Iowa

This state of the US also does not contain any type of local laws or Iowa state bike laws for bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in Kansas

Although there are no state laws present in Kansas State, you will find numerous local laws. Such as,

  • Lawrence: A helmet is a must while cycling under 16 years of age.

Bike Helmet Law in Kentucky

No state laws exist in Kentucky State, but some local laws are present in specific jurisdictions. Like,

  • Louisville: You have to wear a helmet as a cyclist if you are under 18 and riding a bicycle in any of the Metro Parks. Moreover, under the same jurisdiction but at Louisville Extreme Park, wearing a helmet is compulsory regardless of age.

Bike Helmet Law in Louisiana

While riding in Louisiana State, you have to wear a helmet if you are under 12 years of age. A citation will be issued to those who will violate this law. Alternatively, you will find no local laws here in Louisiana.

Bike Helmet Law in Maine

If you are under the age of 16 and are riding a bicycle in the state of Maine, wearing a helmet throughout riding is compulsory. In case a violation occurs, you will be educated about the bicycle helmet laws and free safety advice. At the same time, the second or more times of frequent violations may result in a fine of $25. But if you can prove that you have purchased the helmet, there are chances that the penalty is dismissed. On the other hand, no single local law is present.

Bike Helmet Law in Maryland

The State law in Maryland says that you have to wear a helmet if you are riding a bicycle and you are under the age of 16. In case there is some sort of violation, and you are not wearing a helmet, you will be educated thoroughly about the laws related to bicycle helmets and the safety benefits.

Additionally, there is a compulsion of following some of the local laws here in Maryland, which say:

  • Howard County and Allegany County: Here, you must have to wear a bicycle helmet if you are under 16.
  • Montgomery County: A helmet becomes necessary if you are under 18.
  • Sykesville: In the jurisdiction of Sykesville, there is the compulsion of wearing a helmet while riding regardless of age.

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Bike Helmet Law in Massachusetts

Wearing a helmet is compulsory while riding in the state of Massachusetts within the age range of 1 to 17 years. Moreover, those bicycle riders who are below 1 year of age are completely prohibited and are not allowed to travel on a bicycle. In contrast, no local laws are present in this state.

Bike Helmet Law in Michigan

Although there are no state laws present in the state of Michigan for bicycle riders, some other local laws are applied under some specific jurisdictions. Such as,

  • Kensington Metropark: Wearing a bicycle helmet is a compulsion, irrespective of age while riding in Kensington Metropark.
  • Adrian: If you are below 15 years and riding a bicycle, you have to wear a helmet; otherwise, there is no compulsion.
  • Farmington Hills: If you are below 16 years of age, you are required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.
  • East Grand Rapids: Wearing a helmet is compulsory below the age of 18.

Bike Helmet Law in Minnesota

There is no bike helmet law in Minnesota! Neither, state law nor local law, exists for bicycle helmets in the state of Minnesota.

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Bike Helmet Law in Mississippi

Although there is no state law in Mississippi regarding bicycle helmets, you will see that under some of the specific jurisdictions, you have to abide by local laws.

  • Hernando: Authorities here force everyone to wear a helmet if you are under 17 years and riding a bicycle.
  • Jackson, Starkville, and Ridgeland: You have to wear a helmet no matter your age if you are riding a bicycle.

Bike Helmet Law in Missouri

No state laws are available in Missouri, but you will observe some of the local laws in some specific jurisdictions, such as:

  • Columbia and St. Charles: While riding a bicycle in these two regions, you have to wear a helmet if you are under 16.
  • St. Louis County: Wearing a bicycle helmet is compulsory when the cyclist is between 1 to 17 years of age. Something is quite strange here in the municipalities within St. Louis County in the US. This is pretty complicated and complex because some of the laws regarding bicycle helmets vary from street to street.
  • Vinita Terrace: All cyclists are demanded to wear a bicycle helmet if they are below 21 years of age.
  • Bel-Ridge, Velda Village Hills, Pagedale, Velda City, Grantwood Village, Black Jack, Glendale, Calverton Park, Sycamore Hills, Creve Coeur, Town, and Country: All of the government here says that all cyclists have to wear bicycle helmets regardless of their age.

Bike Helmet Law in Montana

Montana contains no state laws but has some local laws in specific jurisdictions.

  • Billings: Here, you have to wear a helmet if you are under 16 years of age and riding a bicycle.

Bike Helmet Law in Nebraska

Nebraska is another state where there is no local or State law available for bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in Nevada

Nevada possesses no specific State law when it comes to bicycle helmets. But some of the local regulations are still present in some particular jurisdictions. For example,

  • Reno/Sparks Indian Colony and Duckwater Indian Reservation: Here, you have to wear a helmet if you are below 17 years and riding a bicycle.

Bike Helmet Law in New Hampshire

If you are under 16 years of age and are riding a bicycle in the state of New Hampshire, you have to wear a helmet. Otherwise, you will be fined around $35, which is relatively higher than other states. Further, no local laws have been seen in this US state.

Bike Helmet Law in New Jersey

Bicycle helmets are compulsory for everyone riding a bicycle in the state of New Jersey if they are under 17. In case of violation of this law, you will be fined $25 for the first time, and for subsequent offenses, there are chances that the fine can reach up to $100. Moreover, there is slight leniency that your penalty can be canceled in case you show proof of owning a helmet. Further, for the time being, no local laws are present in relevance with bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in New Mexico

In this New Mexico state of the US, wearing a bicycle helmet is a compulsion when the cyclist is under 18 years old. In case of violation, the violators will be fined $10. Moreover, there are chances that only verbal warning and proper understanding of bicycle helmet laws with verbal communication are done if the violator proves that he does own a helmet. In New Mexico, you will observe the implementation of the local laws in some jurisdictions. Such as,

  • Los Alamos County: Bicycle helmet is compulsory for users under the age of 18.

Bike Helmet Law in New York

You have to wear a helmet if you are riding a bicycle in New York or sit on the passenger’s seat of a bike and you are between the ages of 1 to 14. The New York authorities strictly prohibited carrying children under 1 year on bicycle. In case of violation, the offenders will be fined $50 charges.

New York is the only state where there is excellent leniency seen for offenders of bicycle helmet laws. Your fine can waive if you show proof of owning a helmet or if the offender is in an economic crisis. Moreover, some of the local laws are present for particular regions in New York.

  • Suffolk County: You have to wear a bicycle helmet if you are between 14 to 17 years of age and are riding a bicycle.
  • Guilderland: Bicycle helmets are compulsory for everyone riding a bicycle under 14 years of age.
  • Onondaga County-Syracuse: It is compulsory for you to have bicycle helmets while cycling if you are under 18.
  • Eastchester: Bicycle helmets are a must under 19 years while cycling in Eastchester.
  • Erie County Parks, Rockland County, and Greenburgh: No matter what age you are of, you must have to wear a helmet whenever riding on a bicycle.

Bike Helmet Law in North Carolina

If your age is under 16 and you are going out riding on a bicycle, you have to wear a helmet in this US State. In case of violations, your guardian or parent will be fined $10 charges. Moreover, if you prove that you have purchased the helmet, there are chances that the fine will be waived. Further, some of the local laws are present under some of the specific jurisdictions.

  • Carolina Beach, Cary, Carrboro, Charlotte, Greenville, Mathews, and Chapel Hill: Wearing the helmet is a compulsion under 16 years of age.
  • Boone and Black Mountain: No matter what is ypur age, you have to wear a helmet whenever you go out cycling.

Bike Helmet Law in North Dakota

No laws exist for bicycle helmets in the state of North Dakota. It includes both state laws and local laws.

Bike Helmet Law in Ohio

Although there are no state laws for bicycle helmets in Ohio, some jurisdictions implement local laws.

  • Orange Village: Helmets are compulsory for everyone between 6 to 15 years of age.
  • Shaker Heights: Helmets are compulsory for everyone, both passengers and riders above the age of 5.
  • Strongsville: Helmets are compulsory for everyone under the age of 12.
  • Dayton: Helmets are compulsory for everyone under the age of 13 years.
  • Glendale: Helmets are compulsory for every cyclist under 19 years.
  • Madeira and Waynesville: Helmets are compulsory for everyone under 17 years of age.
  • Brooklyn, Euclid, and South Euclid: Helmets are compulsory for everyone under 14 years of age.
  • Akron, Cincinnati, Beachwood, Blue Ash, Bexley, Kettering, and Marietta: Helmets are compulsory for everyone under 16 years of age.
  • Brecksville, East Cleveland, Centerville, Pepper Pike, and Lakewood: Helmets are compulsory for every cyclist under 18 years of age.

Bike Helmet Law in Oklahoma

Oklahoma contains no state laws in relevance with bicycle helmets. But there are some jurisdictions that comprise the local laws. Such as:

  • Norman: In Norman, you have to wear a bicycle helmet if you are under 18 years of age.
  • City Central: In Oklahoma City center, there is a compulsion of wearing a bicycle helmet irrespective of the age of the cyclist.

Bike Helmet Law in Oregon

Helmets are compulsory for every cyclist to wear if he is riding in Oregon and is under 16 years of age. In case of disobedience, a fine of around $25 will be charged to the rider. Furthermore, no local laws are there in the state of Oregon.

Bike Helmet Law in Pennsylvania

All of the passengers and riders of bicycles are required to wear helmets if they are under 12 years of age in the state of Pennsylvania. If rules are violated, there will be a fine of $25. And in case the offender buys the helmet before any hearing of the court, he will be released without any penalties. Further, there are no local laws in relevance with bicycle helmets in the state of Pennsylvania.

Bike Helmet Law in Rhode Island

You have to wear a helmet if you are under 16 in the state of Rhode Island, no matter whether you are a passenger or the rider of a bicycle. The disobedience results in interrogation from the administration. Moreover, no local laws are present for bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in South Carolina

Like many other states of the US, this South Carolina State is another state that does not contain any kind of State law or local law for bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in South Dakota

Similar to the previous state, there is no law present in the form of state law or local law for bicycle helmets in South Dakota state.

Bike Helmet Law in Tennessee

If you are under the age of 16 and are traveling on a bicycle, you have to wear a helmet in the state of Tennessee. This state is quite strict in its laws. The permission from parents or guardians to their child to ride a bicycle without a helmet is also considered an offense. In such a scenario, you will be fined $2. Moreover, there are chances that the first-time violation of this law will result in only verbal warnings, and a fine will be applied on subsequent offenses. At the same time, local laws are present for some specific jurisdictions.

  • Clarksville: You must have to wear a helmet if you are under 18 years of age and riding a bicycle in this jurisdiction of Tennessee.

Bike Helmet Law in Texas

There are no specific state laws in Texas related to bicycle helmets, but some local laws still exist.

  • Southlake and Coppell: You have to wear a helmet if you are under 15 years of age while riding a bicycle here.
  • Bedford: Wearing a helmet is a compulsion in this area while riding a bicycle if you are under 16 years of age.
  • Benbrook: While riding a bicycle in the jurisdiction of Texas, you have to wear a helmet if you are under 17 years of age.
  • Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington, Dallas, Fort, and Houston: All of the riders have to wear helmets while riding a bicycle under the age of 18.

Bike Helmet Law in Utah

Neither the State law nor the local law is present for bicycle helmets in the Utah state of the US.

Bike Helmet Law in Vermont

No state or local laws exist in Vermont state for bicycle helmets.

Bike Helmet Law in Virginia

There are no state laws for bicycle helmets in Virginia, but some local laws exist in some municipalities there.

  • Arlington County, Amherst County, Albemarle County, Clarke County, Blacksburg, Alexandria, Falls Church, Front Royal, Newport News, Orange County, Petersburg, Radford, Stafford County, Hampton, Salem, Virginia Beach, Wise, York County, Vienna Williamsburg, Manassas Park, Harrisonburg, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Floyd County, Luray, Norfolk, Manassas and Roanoke: You must have to wear a helmet under 15 years of age while riding a bicycle in all of these municipalities.

Bike Helmet Law in Washington

Similar to Virginia, there are no state laws for bicycle helmets in the state of Washington. Whereas, here are some local rules that are followed, such as:

  • Orting: In Orting, it is compulsory to wear a helmet under the age of 17 if you are riding a bicycle.
  • Poulsbo: You must have to wear a helmet if you are under 18 years of age.
  • Seatac: As soon as you cross 1 year of age, wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is compulsory for you for the rest of your life.

Bike Helmet Law in West Virginia

All of the riders and passengers are required to wear helmets if they are riding a bicycle under the age of 15. The first-time violation is generally ignored. Otherwise, the subsequent violations may result in either a fine of $10 or two continuous hours of community work. Moreover, there are some specific local laws that exist in some particular jurisdictions such as:

  • Clarksburg, St.Albans, and South Charleston: Wearing a helmet is compulsory under 18 years of age in these regions of West Virginia.
  • Morgantown: Wearing a bicycle helmet is compulsory regardless of age in Morgantown.

Bike Helmet Law in Wisconsin

Although there are no state laws in Wisconsin, some of the local laws exist under some rules, such as:

  • Port Washington: You must have to wear a helmet in Port Washington if you are riding a bicycle and you are under the age of 17.

Bike Helmet Law in Wyoming

You will find no state law or local law in Wyoming state of the US. It means you are free from helmets while riding a bicycle here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all of the states of the US contain the same laws for bicycle helmets?

No, not at all. All states are different in their laws, rules, and regulations in relevance with bicycle helmets. The punishment and fines also differ in case of violation. Moreover, some of the states do not even have any law, neither state law nor local law.

Is it illegal to ride a bicycle in Florida without a helmet?

It depends on your age. If you are 16 years of age or under, you must wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in Florida. This is necessary to meet all of the requirements of Federal safety standards. Your helmet should be properly tightened and locked through straps to make it safer and more secure. This is also enlisted in the federal safety standards.

Is a helmet mandatory for bicycles in the USA?

Although there is no specific federal law in the US that says the helmet is mandatory for bicycle riding. But all of the states of the US do have their own state law or local law according to their jurisdiction. Moreover, there are some States where you are free of the helmet and are not required to wear it at all.

Final Thoughts about Bike Helmet Laws

Whenever you ride on a bicycle, the first thing that comes to your mind is the question of whether you have to wear a helmet or not. To solve this query and understand the rules and regulations related to bicycle helmets, you have to read the article mentioned above with proper attention. The details of all 51 states of the US are discussed above with the rules they possess in relevance to bicycle helmets.

Some states neither have local law nor state law. On the other hand, some states have both local ordinances and state laws when it comes to wearing a helmet while cycling. Make sure you have understood all of the descriptions mentioned above so that you never commit any violence or disobedience.


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