University of Vermont AAHS


City of Plantation, Florida Equestrian Ordinance

Here is the ordinance as finally passed by the City of Plantation, Florida on January 27, 1999. It went into effect April 1, 1999.  This was the first law of any kind--statute or ordinance--that was enacted in the United States to require the wearing of an approved equestrian helmet while riding a horse in a public place.


See. 25-83. Helmets required for riding horses and other equine animals in Plantation.

(a) It is the intent of the City of Plantation by enacting this section to promote safety, regulate traffic, and regulate lawful activities within defined public areas.

(b) After April 1, 1999, an equine animal rider who is under sixteen (16) years of age must wear a helmet that meets the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards (or any other nationally recognized standard for equine helmets adopted by the police department through a Police Chief’s Executive Order) which is properly fitted and fastened securely upon the rider's head by a strap, when riding in a public area. This requirement applies regardless of whether a rider is controlling the equine animal. As used within this subsection, the term "equine animal" means a horse, pony, mule, or donkey. The term "public area" as used within this subsection means:

i. all areas within the City where the City of Plantation enjoys original jurisdiction to regulate traffic pursuant to the State Uniform Traffic Control Laws;

ii. a11 parks, school sites, or public owned or controlled property;

iii. all privately or publicly owned property which comprises the equestrian trail along Flamingo Road and Old Hiatus Road, the North New River Canal, and the north City limits as developed pursuant to Policy No. 1.1.1 of the City Comprehensive Plan, and the horse trail along the berm parallel to New Flamingo Road and 124th Avenue as identified in Policy No. 1.1.3.A of the City Comprehensive Plan.

(c) After April 1, 1999, no parent of any person under the age of sixteen (16) years and no guardian of any ward under the age of sixteen (16) years may authorize or knowingly permit any such minor person or ward to violate any of the provisions of this section.

(d) After April 1, 1999, no person may knowingly rent or lease any equine animal to be ridden by a person who is under the age of sixteen (16) years unless the prospective rider possesses a helmet meeting the requirements of subsection (b) above or the lessor provides a helmet meeting such requirements for the prospective rider to wear.

(e) Any person who violates this section may be issued a citation by a law enforcement officer for a fine of fifteen dollars ($ 15.00). The court must dismiss the charge against an equine animal rider for a first violation of this section of the Code upon proof of purchase of a helmet that complies with subsection (b) above. The court may waive, reduce, or suspend the payment of any fine imposed under this section, and may impose any other conditions on the waiver, reduction, or suspension. If the court finds that a person does not have sufficient funds to pay the fine, the court may require the performance of a specified number of hours of community service or attendance at an appropriate safety seminar.

(f) This section does not apply to equine animal riders when such riders are competing or performing during a show or event in which they are registered as participants and where the City issues an exclusive license or permit for the public property used, which license or permit may include requirements for insurance, indemnities, and bonds.


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