Bicycle Helmets


Jill asked:  As an adult, am I required to wear a helmet while riding my bicycle?  Our traffic rules are the same as we observe on the roads and highways.  However, there is less traffic and a more relaxed attitude.  People ride bicycles in the street and on the walking paths.


We recommend that everyone wear helmets when cycling, but helmets are required only for children under 16 years of age. (Revised in accordance with 2012 statute change)

s 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(3)(d) A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets, final rule, 16 C.F.R. part 1203. A helmet purchased before October 1, 2012, which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z 90.4 Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets adopted by the department may continue to be worn by a bicycle rider or passenger until January 1, 2016. As used in this subsection, the term “passenger” includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.

(e) Law enforcement officers and school crossing guards may issue a bicycle safety brochure and a verbal warning to a bicycle rider or passenger who violates this subsection. A bicycle rider or passenger who violates this subsection may be issued a citation by a law enforcement officer and assessed a fine for a pedestrian violation, as provided in s. 318.18. The court shall dismiss the charge against a bicycle rider or passenger for a first violation of paragraph (d) upon proof of purchase of a bicycle helmet that complies with this subsection.

8 Comments on “Bicycle Helmets

  1. I have never heard of such a ridiculous helmet law in my life. I can see up to the age of 8, but 16??? How many teens do you see in these helmets? I have seen none and my teens would rather give up riding a bike than wearing an ugly helmet. Safety is one thing and I understand this, but this is overboard on so many levels. This dumb law explains why I never see teens riding their bikes in Florida. How about we encourage the exercise and stop trying to keep the kids in a bubble of protection all the time. End of rant.

    • Then I’m sure you won’t mind paying the entire medical bill for your teens if, God forbid, one of them should fall off their bike and crack their head open. You may think bike helmets are ugly but they save lives, and I certainly don’t want my hard-earned insurance payments going to subsidize medical care for irresponsible, self-absorbed people.

    • Back in the day, there were only 10 speed bikes with quite heavy steel frames. Today, bikes have many more gears which makes them faster and they are made with extremely light materials which only increases the speed. Therefore, when you crash or fall off the bike, the impact will be much more severe. There are numerous accounts of people cracking their helmets into pieces and walking away rather unharmed due to the helmet absorbing the force of impact. An ugly helmet is better than a pretty casket.

    • Have you seen how they drive in Florida?? I agree with you but not here where the tourist and elderly and young pay no attention to anything.

    • I’m sure you Never looked either when you were a kid.. always been like this for yr’s. even though 99.9% of the police do nothing about it.. you can be fined.. I never gave a ticket for it.. but have taken the bike till parents picked it up.

  2. According to the CDC:

    “In 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care. Roughly half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under the age of 20. Annually, 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries to children and adolescents are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments.”

    A while back, my teenage son was riding and crashed into a tree, breaking his helmet into pieces. I’m glad he was wearing it. I have crashed in pace lines a number of times, leaving serious cracks and scratches on my helmets. Fortunately not on my skull.

    Actually, I have seen vast numbers of teens riding bikes, some wearing helmets and some not. Many seem to relate to the serious cyclists who know the potential for serious injury without helmets. Some, including those over 16 who are not required to wear a helmet, even think the helmet is a cool symbol of their intelligence.

    If you disagree with the legislators who passed the laws after consideration of the numerous studies about head injuries from not wearing helmets, you should take it up with them rather than with us.

  3. I personally think it should be a choice as helmet laws for motorcycles are a choice in Florida. I always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. As a kid I never wore a helmet but then again they weren’t around.

  4. Theresa,

    Like a bicycle, only certain persons may ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

    s. 316.211 – Equipment for Motorcycle and Moped Riders
    (1) A person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head
    (2) A person may not operate a motorcycle unless the person is wearing an eye-protective device over his or her eyes of a type approved by the department.
    (b) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
    (4) A person under 16 years of age may not operate or ride upon a moped unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head which complies with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation.

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