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FAQs: Are bicycle helmets required in Cali?

Confused about bike laws? Feel free to phone Bicycling Monterey.

Bicycle helmet requirements for California

  1. Youth. California DMV VC Section 21212 states that people younger than age 18 are required to wear helmets when biking on “a street, bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public bicycle path or trail.”

    Youth, also be aware that even if a property doesn’t meet CA state law requirements about where minors must wear helmets, a property owner may still require that you wear a helmet.

  2. Adults. Although California state law does not require adults to wear a bicycle helmet, check with your county’s bicycling advocacy leaders (e.g., California Bicycle Coalition’s local partners and allies) to learn about any possible city or county ordinances to the contrary. 
  3. All ages. Some properties, organizations, or events in California—public or private— may require helmets for adults as well as for youth. Here are just a few examples from Monterey County:

Learn more about bicycle helmets

Learn more about riding skills, safety, bike laws

A caller recently asked, “Are helmets required for biking at Fort Ord National Monument?”

  • Whether you’re biking pavement or mountain bike trails at Fort Ord, many riders would recommend a helmet.
  • For adults, as confirmed with the Bureau of Land Management Central Coast field office on 3/9/18, adults are not required to wear a helmet when biking at Fort Ord National Monument.
  • For youth, keep in mind California DMV VC Section 21212, which includes that people younger than age 18 are required to wear helmets when biking on “a street, bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public bicycle path or trail.

http://twitter.com/BikeMonterey/status/900531788090449920

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Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/CABikeHelmet

This post was published on 9 March 2018. One or more changes was last made to this post on 22 November 2019.

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