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SECTION 1238
Passengers on bicycles under one year of age prohibited; passengers and operators under fourteen years of age to wear protective headgear...
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 7, ARTICLE 34
§ 1238. Passengers on bicycles under one year of age prohibited;
passengers and operators under fourteen years of age to wear protective
headgear; operators of class three bicycles with electric assist to wear
protective headgear. 1. No person operating a bicycle shall allow a
person who is under one year of age to ride as a passenger on a bicycle
nor shall such person be carried in a pack fastened to the operator. A
first violation of the provisions of this subdivision shall result in no
fine. A second violation shall result in a civil fine not to exceed
fifty dollars.

2. No person operating a bicycle shall allow a person one or more
years of age and less than five years of age to ride as a passenger on a
bicycle unless:

(a) such passenger is wearing a helmet meeting standards established
by the commissioner. For the purposes of this subdivision wearing a
helmet means having a helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head
with the helmet straps; and

(b) such passenger is placed in a separate seat attached to the
bicycle and such seat shall have adequate provision for retaining the
passenger in place and for protecting the passenger from the moving
parts of the bicycle.

2-a. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations
establishing standards for helmets required to be worn while bicycling,
in-line skating, or operating a skate board. Such standards, to the
extent practicable, shall reflect the standards recommended by the Snell
Memorial Foundation, Safety Equipment Institute, or United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission.

3. Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision two of this
section shall pay a civil fine not to exceed fifty dollars.

4. The court shall waive any fine for which a person who violates the
provisions of paragraph (a) of subdivision two of this section would be
liable if such person supplies the court with proof that between the
date of violation and the appearance date for such violation such person
purchased or rented a helmet, which meets the requirements of paragraph
(a) of subdivision two of this section. Further, the court shall waive
any fine for which a person who violates the provisions of paragraph (b)
of subdivision two of this section would be liable if such person
supplies the court with proof that between the date of violation and the
appearance date for such violation such person purchased or rented a
seat which meets the requirements of paragraph (b) of subdivision two of
this section. The court may waive any fine for which a person who
violates the provisions of subdivision two of this section would be
liable if the court finds that due to reasons of economic hardship such
person was unable to purchase a helmet or seat. Such waiver of fine
shall not apply to a second or subsequent conviction under paragraph (a)
or (b) of subdivision two of this section.

5. (a) No person operating a bicycle shall allow a person five or more
years of age and less than fourteen years of age to ride as a passenger
on a bicycle unless such passenger is wearing a helmet meeting standards
established by the commissioner.

(b) No person, one or more years of age and less than fourteen years
of age, shall operate a bicycle unless such person is wearing a helmet
meeting standards established by the commissioner.

(c) For the purposes of this subdivision wearing a helmet means having
a helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the helmet
straps.

5-a. No person, one or more years of age and less than fourteen years
of age, shall skate or glide on in-line skates or a skate board unless
such person is wearing a helmet meeting standards established by the
commissioner. For the purposes of this subdivision, wearing a helmet
means having a helmet of good fit fastened securely on the head of such
wearer with the helmet straps securely fastened.

5-b. No person less than fourteen years of age shall ride upon, propel
or otherwise operate a two-wheeled vehicle commonly called a scooter
unless such person is wearing a helmet meeting standards established by
the commissioner. As used in this subdivision, wearing a helmet means
having a properly fitting helmet fixed securely on the head of such
wearer with the helmet straps securely fastened.

5-c. No person shall ride upon, propel or otherwise operate a class
three bicycle with electric assist unless such person is wearing a
helmet meeting standards established by the commissioner. For the
purposes of this subdivision, wearing a helmet means having a properly
fitting helmet fixed securely on the head of such wearer with the helmet
straps securely fastened.

6. (a) Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision five,
five-a, five-b or five-c of this section shall pay a civil fine not to
exceed fifty dollars.

(b) The court shall waive any fine for which a person who violates the
provisions of subdivision five or subdivision five-c of this section
would be liable if such person supplies the court with proof that
between the date of violation and the appearance date for such violation
such person purchased or rented a helmet.

(c) The court may waive any fine for which a person who violates the
provisions of subdivision five, five-a, five-b, or five-c of this
section would be liable if the court finds that due to reasons of
economic hardship such person was unable to purchase a helmet or due to
such economic hardship such person was unable to obtain a helmet from
the statewide in-line skate and bicycle helmet distribution program, as
established in section two hundred six of the public health law, or a
local distribution program. Such waiver of a fine shall not apply to a
second or subsequent violation of subdivision five-c of this section.

7. The failure of any person to comply with the provisions of this
section shall not constitute contributory negligence or assumption of
risk, and shall not in any way bar, preclude or foreclose an action for
personal injury or wrongful death by or on behalf of such person, nor in
any way diminish or reduce the damages recoverable in any such action.

8. (a) A police officer shall only issue a summons for a violation of
subdivision two, five, or five-a of this section by a person less than
fourteen years of age to the parent or guardian of such person if the
violation by such person occurs in the presence of such person's parent
or guardian and where such parent or guardian is eighteen years of age
or more. Such summons shall only be issued to such parent or guardian,
and shall not be issued to the person less than fourteen years of age.

(b) A police officer shall only issue a summons for a violation of
subdivision five-c of this section by a person less than sixteen years
of age to the parent or guardian of such person if the violation by such
person occurs in the presence of such person's parent or guardian and
where such parent or guardian is eighteen years of age or more. Such
summons shall only be issued to such parent or guardian, and shall not
be issued to the person less than sixteen years of age.

9. Subdivisions five, five-a, five-b, and six of this section shall
not be applicable to any county, city, town or village that has enacted
a local law or ordinance prior to the effective date of this subdivision
that prohibits a person who is one or more years of age and less than
fourteen years of age from operating a bicycle or skating or gliding on
in-line skates or a skate board without wearing a bicycle helmet meeting
the standards of the American National Standards Institute (Ansi Z 90.4
bicycle helmet standards), the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standards for
Protective Headgear for use in Bicycling, or the American Society of
Testing and Materials (ASTM) bike helmet standards, or that prohibits a
person operating a bicycle from allowing a person five or more years of
age and less than fourteen years of age to ride as a passenger on a
bicycle unless such passenger is wearing a bicycle helmet that meets
such standards. The failure of any person to comply with any such local
law or ordinance shall not constitute contributory negligence or
assumption of risk, and shall not in any way bar, preclude or foreclose
an action for personal injury or wrongful death by or on behalf of such
person, nor in any way diminish or reduce the damages recoverable in any
such action. The legislative body of a county, city, town or village may
enact a local law or ordinance that prohibits a person who is fourteen
or more years of age from skating or gliding on in-line skates,
operating a skate board, or operating or riding as a passenger on a
bicycle without wearing a bicycle helmet.

10. No person shall skate or glide on in-line skates or a skate board
outside during the period of time between one-half hour after sunset and
one-half hour before sunrise unless such person is wearing readily
visible reflective clothing or material which is of a light or bright
color.