Kim asked: Are bicycle riders required by law to wear a helmet? If not, do you think it is a good idea to wear one anyway?
Children under 16 are required to wear approved helmets that are properly fitted and fastened when riding bicycles.
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.
Helmets are recommended for all and most organized club and other rides and races require them for participation in their events regardless of age.