January 1 Deadline For Skateboarder’s Helmets
Governor George E. Pataki announced recently that he has signed legislation into law that will require New Yorkers under the age of 14 who ride skateboards to wear safety helmets. The requirements put in place by the new law are the same as those currently required for children who ride bicycles and use in-line skates.
“Riding a skateboard can be just as dangerous, or even more dangerous, as riding a bicycle or using in-line skates,” Governor Pataki said. “This new, common-sense law will protect New York’s children from serious injury and keep them as safe as possible as they enjoy their skateboards.”
Under current law, the use of helmets and other safety requirements placed on those children riding bicycles or using in-line skates are not required of skateboard riders, which could place children at unnecessary risk.
Senator Bill Larkin said, “Skateboards can be at least as dangerous to ride as bicycles or in-line skates. Who hasn’t seen neighborhood kids practicing dangerous stunts and flips on curbs, ramps, and even stairs? Many parents have asked me why there is no requirement in the law to make skate boarders wear safety helmets the same way we do for bicycle riders. This bill that I sponsored in the Senate which Governor Pataki has signed into law will do just that, and I applaud the Governor for making children safer
because of his action on this important piece of legislation.”
The new law also prohibits skateboarders from attaching themselves to any automobile on the roadway, and restricts them from carrying any items that obstruct their view. Additionally, the new statute will include skateboards in a list of items that are included in the State’s bicycle and in-line skate public education and safety awareness program.
New York State requires bicyclists under the age of 14 to wear certified
bicycle helmets when operating or riding a bicycle. Children aged 1 to 4
must wear certified helmets and ride in specially designed child safety seats.
Under a law signed by Governor Pataki in 2001, children under the age of 14 are also required to wear a helmet when operating a scooter.
The law requiring the use of safety helmets for New Yorkers who ride skateboards takes effect on January 1, 2005.