Reader questions law in regard to youths and bicycle helmets

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Could you clear up some confusion for my family? I thought there was a law that children under 18 must wear a helmet while riding a bike but I constantly see kids riding without one. If there is such a law why is it not enforced? Thanks, Michelle, Aptos A: "Minors under 18 are required to wear helmets when riding a bicycle, and this is something we do in fact enforce," said officer Sarah Jackson of the CHP's Aptos office. "I have given many a child a ride home and/or written a citation to the parent for not making sure their child rides with proper safety gear." Also, check out the Sept. 15 Street Smarts, in which I report on my experiences riding along with the CHP. Those experiences included stopping young cyclists for not wearing helmets. Meanwhile, if families can't afford bicycle helmets, there are various entities around the county that can help. Contact the Community Traffic Safety Coalition's Ride n' Stride Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program for information on helmets and general bike safety information at (831) 454-4317.
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