Parents Face $25-$100 Fines For Children Not Wearing Helmets On Scooters

kid scooterAn Assembly panel has approved “Andy’s Law,” a public safety measure sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle that is designed to protect children from traumatic or potentially fatal brain injuries. The bill (A-3676), which was advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, requires children under 17 years old to wear an approved helmet when riding a scooter. 

“Much the same way our bicycle helmet law has helped prevent countless injuries and fatalities, we hope this legislation will do the same,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Wearing a helmet can keep an accident from turning into a life-altering tragedy.”

The legislation is named in memory of Andy Alexis Pino, a 10-year old boy from Elizabeth who was struck and killed by a vehicle as he was crossing a busy street near his home while riding his scooter. The child, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, died from severe head trauma.

To prevent such tragedies in the future, this bill would require children younger than 17 years of age to wear helmets when they ride their scooters. Children under 17 years old currently are required to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle and when skateboarding or roller skating. 

Under the bill’s provisions, a fine of up to $25 for a first offense up to $100 for a subsequent offense could be imposed on the parent or guardian of a child who fails to wear the required helmet. The fines are to be deposited into the “Bicycle, Skating and Scooter Safety Fund” to be used by the Director of Consumer Affairs for educational programs concerning bicycle, roller skating, skateboarding and scooter safety.

“I hope we can honor Andy’s legacy by saving the lives of other children through this legislation,” added Vainieri Huttle.

The bill also requires scooter manufacturers to include a warning notice with the scooter that the risk of serious injury can be reduced by using a scooter only while wearing helmets, wrist guards elbow pads and knee pads. A manufacturer who complies with the warning requirements of the bill could not be held liable in a civil action for damages or physical injury by a scooter rider who was not wearing the required helmet when injured. 

Manufacturers of bicycles, roller skates and skateboards are required by current law to provide this warning. Businesses which sell or rent scooters are required by the bill to post a sign meeting certain specifications where the sale or transaction takes place stating that children under 17 are required under State law to wear a helmet when riding a scooter. Failure to post the appropriate sign would result in a fine up to $25 for each day the business is open without the sign posted.

Businesses that rent scooters also are required to provide a helmet to renters who do not have one, but may charge a fee for the service. Businesses that comply with these requirements could not be held liable in a civil action for damages or physical injury by a scooter rider who did not wear a helmet. Businesses that sell or rent bicycles, roller skates and skateboards are currently subject to these requirements.

The bill also authorizes municipalities to regulate scooters on properties under the municipality’s jurisdiction. TLS.

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  1. I can honestly say that i NEVER see any child in this town wearing a helmet while on a scooter. and only a FRACTION of children on bikes wear helmets

  2. I ALWAYS make my childeren to wear helmets. “VNISHMARTEM ME’OD LENAFSHOSECHEM”… Why wait for r’l a tragedy??? they are only giving you a fine to protect YOUR children.

  3. more Democrats running our lives and taxing us to death (fines in this case). Next thing the fines will have to go up to pay the salaries of the code enforces. Hey Democrats I am going to walk down the street check make sure my shoes are tied. Maybe the Democrats should worry more about gangs!

  4. My kids know if they are caught riding a bike or a scooter without a helmet, the bike/scooter gets taken away for the day. I’d rather deal with their kvetching, then the results of an accident without a helmet, C”V.

  5. What happened to the law pertaining to children wearing helmets while riding their bikes? I have never see a child stopped by a police office for not wearing a helmet. I guess it’s just another law that no one follows here.

  6. Trust me this is a great law…. My Child ended up getting a head injury, needed Neurosurgery R”L and stayed in ICU for a few days, not a pleasant experience but BH all ended well. I do not understand why people don’t understand the importance . SPEND THE $15 FOR A HELMET , IT’S CHEAPER THAN HOSPITAL BILLS !!!!!

  7. Quick!! Call the police!! Little Johnny is crossing the street without his knee pads!!

    Its only a matter of time till some feel good liberal proposes a bill requiring all citizens to wear a helmet when they get out of bed. Hey if ya wanna prevent all tragedies, why stop with scooters?

    And to been there done that and tweezers, if you want to require your family to do something for safety, that’s fine but don’t keep shtupping these dumb laws down our throats.

  8. Why stop with scooters? Unfortunately many children get hurt each year crossing the street on foot. Let’s require all kids to wear helmets on foot as well. Heck – why stop with children? Let’s require all adults as well. And while we’re at it- many seniors get hurt falling in their own bedrooms. So let’s require helmets in bedrooms as well.

    While I feel terrible for Andy & his family, I’m really getting fed up with this new fad of every person who goes through a tragedy taking it upon themselves to use the tragedy to come up with some stupid invasive law.

  9. The same way parents can decide what their children eat and wear, they should be able to decide how they play outside. If a parent is hyper-concerned for his child’s head safety, he’ll get him a helmet and make him wear it; if it’s knees he’s worried about (been there, done that), he’ll go the knee pad route.
    For goodness sake – let them play outside – it combats obesity!

  10. Why didn’t you print my comment about the town cleaning up on fines for kids not wearing helmets? After reading some of the comments, you can see the mentality of some of the people in Lakewood. Some parents think it’s a joke, meanwhile their kids lives are in danger.
    Go figure! And again I say, we can hire all the police we need with the fines that would be given out. And parents will complain that the police aren’t doing what they should be doing, catching bad guys. All the police are doing are protecting YOUR kids. What bad lazy cops!

  11. I cannot believe parents are complaining about paying a fine because they are irresponsible enough to not make their child(ren) wear a helmet. Isn’t your childs safety important to you? Imagine yourself in the position as #8. You wouldn’t want to and shouldn’t have to.

  12. I am shocked at the parents who are mocking this law and dont understand the need for helmets. I fear for your children’s safety. The government is not trying to become a Nanny. They are looking at a very dangerous activity and trying to keep the kids safe, since obviously there are parents like you who dont care.

    Do you know there are 10,000 scooter related visits to the ER every year. Do you know how devastating some of them are, with major brain damage, some kids living as vegetables? Yes, you can slip while walking, yes you can trip while going down stairs. But the numbers speak for themselves and scooter/bike riding is MUCH more dangerous, with MANY more serious injuries than those simply walking down the street.

    I bet you are the parent who lets his children bounce around the car without any seatbelt because “thats how we did it when we were kids and look, I am fine”

    SHAME and DISGUST is what you should feel for yourselves right now.

  13. I mock this law because while I beleive safety is important, I don’t beleive government should be in the business of regulating every aspect of our lives
    If Government wants to spend money on educating us on safety – I’m fine with that but stop limiting our freedoms! If I feel comfortable allowing my kid to ride his training wheels without his helmet that should be my decision not some beurecrat’s.
    As an EMT, I can assure you that elderly falls at home account for a much larger percentage of Emergency room visits than kids getting hurt on scooters. The list of causes for ER visits are virtually endless. Andy was hit by a car for goodness sake! He would’ve been just as dead had he been on foot.
    Alot of people are fine with these stupid laws because they address pet peeves that many of us have but if you look at the larger picture, you’ll realize there virtually is no activity any more that is not regulated or criminialized by the government … and to think that the founding fatthers were only concerned with taxes on tea!! they’re rolling in their graves now!

  14. My child broke his arm slipping on a wet floor. I think all kids should now be required to wear full protective gear while running around the house. I think Lakewood police should forget about gangs and start executing no knock warrants making sure no kids are jumping on their beds. I’m sure Dr. Shanik will agree that a lot more kids in lakewood get hurt falling off their beds than by gangster violence.
    I think the solution to all this nonsense is to get rid of all these feel good liberals in office who spend their whole lives thinking how to come up with another law to limit our pursuit of happiness. We need to elect legislators who feel comfortable saying “hey I feel terrible your kid was hit by a car but maybe next time you’ll teach your kid to look both ways before running in the street. Let’s not make every little kid crazy when they’re riding their cozy coop in front of their house”.

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