Bicycle riding is a fun recreational activity that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Unfortunately, many kids do not wear a helmet while riding their bikes because they think that they don’t look cool and will be teased by their friends if they wear a helmet or because it is uncomfortable. This can have tragic consequences to a young life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are about 26,000 children under the age of 20 who sustain traumatic brain injuries in bicycle related accidents.
It does not take an accident with a motor vehicle to result in these severe head injuries. A child can sustain a traumatic head injury simply by falling off a bike and striking his or her head on the ground.
In order to minimize the unnecessary risk of a traumatic brain injury, it is imperative that children, and all bicycle riders for that matter, wear a properly fitted helmet while out enjoying a bike ride. In New Jersey, this is what the law requires. Under New Jersey law, anyone under the age of 17 shall not ride a bicycle unless they are wearing a properly fitted helmet at all times while riding a bicycle on any property opened to the public or used by the public for pedestrian and vehicular purposes. N.J.S.A. 39:4-10.1. A parent can be fined $25 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent offenses if they failed to exercise reasonable supervision or control over the child’s conduct.