University of Vermont AAHS

New Jersey Bicycle Helmet Statute

NEW JERSEY STATUTES
TITLE 39. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REGULATIONS
SUBTITLE 1. MOTOR VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAWSCHAPTER 4. TRAFFIC REGULATION
ARTICLE 3. BICYCLES AND ROLLER SKATES

This law was amended in 2006 to require operators and passengers under the age of 17 to wear helmets:

See amended statute

39:4-10.1. Bicycle operators and passengers under age 14 required to wear helmets

a. A person under 14 years of age shall not operate, or ride upon a bicycle as a passenger, unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z90.4 bicycle helmet standard) or the Snell Memorial Foundation's 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. This requirement shall apply to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat which is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle.

As used in this act, "bicycle" means a vehicle with two wheels propelled solely by human power and having pedals, handle bars and a saddle-like seat. The term shall include a bicycle for two or more persons having seats and corresponding sets of pedals arranged in tandem.

b. The director shall publish a list of bicycle helmets which meet the standards described in subsection a. of this section and shall provide for its distribution in as many locations frequented by the public as the director deems appropriate and practicable.

c. The requirement in subsection a. of this section shall apply at all times while a bicycle is being operated on any property open to the public or used by the public for pedestrian and vehicular purposes; however, a municipality may by ordinance exempt from this requirement a person operating or riding on a bicycle as a passenger when the bicycle is operated:

(1) on a road or highway closed to motor vehicle traffic and limited to pedestrian or bicycle use at all times or only during specified periods of time during which bicycles may be operated; or

(2) exclusively on a trail, route, course, boardwalk, path or other area which is set aside for the use of bicycles or for the use of pedestrians and bicycle operation is not otherwise prohibited. However, an exemption may not be granted under this paragraph for any portion of a trail, route, course, boardwalk, path or other area which is immediately adjacent to a road or highway used by motor vehicle traffic and which does not contain a barrier of sufficient height and rigidity to prevent the inadvertent or deliberate entry of a bicycle operator onto the road or highway.

d. An ordinance enacted pursuant to subsection c. of this section shall specify those roads, highways, trails, routes, courses, boardwalks, paths or areas within the municipality where helmets are not required during the operation of a bicycle.

e. When a bicycle is being operated in an area where bicycle helmets are not required, the operator or a passenger, except a passenger in a restraining seat or trailer, shall dismount from the bicycle and walk whenever it is necessary to enter a crosswalk or to cross a road or highway upon which motor vehicle traffic is permitted.

39:4-10.2. Violation of bicycle helmet requirement; fines

a. A person who violates a requirement of this act shall be warned of the violation by the enforcing official. The parent or legal guardian of that person also may be fined a maximum of $25 for the person's first offense and a maximum of $100 for a subsequent offense if it can be shown that the parent or guardian failed to exercise reasonable supervision or control over the person's conduct. Penalties provided in this section for a failure to wear a helmet may be waived if an offender or his parent or legal guardian presents suitable proof that an approved helmet was owned at the time of the violation or has been purchased since the violation occurred.

b. All money collected as fines under subsection a. of this section and subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.1997, c. 411 (C. 39:4-10.6) shall be deposited in a nonlapsing revolving fund to be known as the "Bicycle and Skating Safety Fund." Interest earned on money deposited in the fund shall accrue to the fund. Money in the fund shall be utilized by the director to provide educational programs devoted to bicycle, roller skating and skateboarding safety. If the director determines that sufficient money is available in the fund, he also may use, in a manner prescribed by rule and regulation, the money to assist low income families in purchasing approved bicycle helmets. For the purposes of this subsection, "low income family" means a family which qualifies for low income housing under the standards promulgated by the Council on Affordable Housing pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1985, c. 222

39:4-10.3. Posting of sign regarding bicycle helmet requirement; penalties

a. A person regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles shall post a sign at the point where the sale or rental transaction is completed stating: "STATE LAW REQUIRES A BICYCLE RIDER UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE TO WEAR A HELMET." The size of the sign shall be at a minimum 15 inches in length and 8 inches in width. This notification requirement shall not apply to a seller when a bicycle is sold through the use of a catalog or brochure and the purchase and payment are made by mail, telephone or another telecommunications or electronic method.

A person who fails to post a sign required by this subsection within 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory act (P.L.1995, c. 177) shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $25 a day for each day the business is open to the public and the sign is not posted. The enforcement of this subsection shall be vested in the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs of the Department of Law and Public Safety, the inspectors appointed under his authority, and the police or peace officers of, or inspectors duly appointed for this purpose, by any municipality or county or by the State. Jurisdiction of proceedings to collect the penalties prescribed by this act is vested in the Superior Court and the municipal court in any municipality where the defendant may be apprehended or where he may reside. Process shall be either a summons or warrant and shall be executed in a summary manner pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S. 2A:58-1 et seq.).

b. A person regularly engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall provide a helmet to a person under 14 years of age who will operate the bicycle in an area where a helmet is required, if the person does not already have a helmet in his possession. A fee may be charged for the helmet rental.

c. A person regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles who complies with the applicable requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a bicycle operator or passenger who is under the age of 14 years as a result of the operator's or passenger's failure to wear a helmet or to wear a properly fitted or fastened helmet in violation of the requirements of this act.

d. Within 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory act (P.L.1995, c. 177), the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall make a reasonable effort to notify any person who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles of the requirements of this section. The responsibility of a person under this section shall not be abrogated or diminished in any manner if the person fails to receive or become aware of a notice from the division.

39:4-10.5. Definitions relating to roller skating and skateboarding

a. As used in this act:

"Director" means the Director of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

"Roller skates" means a pair of devices worn on the feet with a set of wheels attached, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, and used to glide or propel the user over the ground.

b. A person under 14 years of age shall not operate any roller skates or skateboard unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened helmet which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z90.4 bicycle helmet standard), the Snell Memorial Foundation's 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard or other such standard, as appropriate.

c. The requirement in subsection b. of this section shall apply at all times while a person subject to the provisions of this act is operating roller skates or skateboarding on any property open to the public or used by the public for roller skating or skateboarding.

39:4-10.6. Violations by roller skaters or skateboarders; fines

a. A person who violates the provisions of section 1 of this act by failing to wear an approved helmet shall be warned of the violation by the enforcing official. The parent or legal guardian of the violator may be fined a maximum of $25 for a first offense and a maximum of $100 for a subsequent offense. The penalties provided under the provisions of this subsection for failing to wear an approved helmet may be waived if the parent or legal guardian of the violator presents suitable proof that an approved helmet or appropriate personal protection equipment has been purchased since the violation occurred.

b. All moneys collected as fines under subsection a. of this section shall be deposited in the "Bicycle and Skating Safety Fund" pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c. 465 (C.39:4-10.2).

39:4-10.8. Sale of roller skates or skateboards; protective gear warning

a. It shall be unlawful to manufacture, assemble, sell, offer to sell or distribute roller skates or skateboards unless such roller skates or skateboards contain a warning notice consistent with the requirements of this section.

b. The warning notice required by subsection a. of this section shall be placed in at least one of the following locations and shall be clearly visible to the consumer: (1) on one roller skate in each pair of roller skates or on the skateboard; (2) on the outside of the box or other container in which the roller skates or the skateboard are offered for sale at retail; or (3) on any user's guide or instruction manual provided with the roller skates or the skateboard.

c. The warning notice required by subsection a. of this section must be printed in clear and conspicuous type and be substantially similar to the following notice: "WARNING! REDUCE THE RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY AND ONLY USE WHILE WEARING FULL PROTECTIVE GEAR--HELMET, WRIST GUARDS, ELBOW PADS AND KNEE PADS."

d. A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling roller skates or skateboards who complies with the requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a user of roller skates or a skateboard as a result of that user's failure to wear a helmet in accordance with the provisions of this act.

39:4-10.9. Sale or rental of roller skates or skateboards; notice of helmet requirement

a. A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting roller skates or skateboards shall post a sign at the point where the sale or rental transaction is completed stating: "STATE LAW REQUIRES A PERSON UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE TO WEAR A HELMET WHEN ROLLER SKATING OR SKATEBOARDING." The size of the sign shall be at a minimum 15 inches in length and 8 inches in width. This notification requirement shall not apply to a seller when roller skates are sold through the use of a mail order catalog or brochure where the purchase and payment are made by mail, telephone or another telecommunications or electronic method.

b. A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity who fails to post the sign required by subsection a. of this section shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $25 a day for each day the business is open to the public and the sign is not posted. The enforcement of this subsection shall be vested in the director, the inspectors appointed under his authority and the police or peace officers of, or inspectors duly appointed for this purpose by, any municipality or county or the State. Jurisdiction of proceedings to collect the penalties prescribed by this act is vested in the Superior Court and the municipal court in any municipality where the defendant resides. Process shall be either a summons or warrant and shall be executed in a summary manner pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.).

c. A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of renting roller skates or skateboards shall make available an approved helmet to a person under 14 years of age who rents the roller skates or skateboards for use in an area where a helmet is required, if the person does not already have a helmet in his possession. A fee may be charged for the helmet rental.

d. A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting roller skates or skateboards who complies with the applicable requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a user of roller skates or a skateboard who is under the age of 14 years as a result of that person's failure to wear a helmet in accordance with the provisions of this act.

e. Sixty days before the effective date of this act, the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall make a reasonable effort to notify any person, firm, corporation or other legal entity who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting roller skates or skateboards of the requirements of this section. The responsibility of a person, firm, corporation or other legal entity under this section shall not be abrogated or diminished in any manner if the person fails to receive or become aware of a notice from the division.

39:4-14.4a. Rules and regulations for promotion of bicycle helmets

No person shall sell or offer to sell at retail any bicycle unless there is affixed to that bicycle a statement promoting the use of helmets by bicycle riders. If a bicycle is sold unassembled, the statement shall be displayed in a prominent manner on the carton or package containing the unassembled bicycle.

39:4-14.7a. Statement promoting use of helmet to be affixed to bicycle or to carton of unassembled bicycle

The Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall, pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act. In addition to such other matters as the director shall deem appropriate and necessary, those rules and regulations so promulgated shall provide that the affixing of the warning cards "This Bike Is Missing One Part," designed by the New Jersey Coalition for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities and funded by the Office for the Prevention of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services, to a bicycle offered for sale at retail shall fulfill the requirements of section 1 of this act and that those warning cards shall be readily available to the retail sellers of bicycles at cost.

 


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