Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained during accidents involving bicycles, skateboards and roller skates, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commisssion.
Bicycle accidents, alone, account for approximately 800 deaths and more than 500,000 hospital-treated injuries annually. More than half of those injuries involve children.
Helmets Save Lives
New Jersey recently amended its helmet laws raising the age at which bicyclists, roller skaters and skateboarders must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet from under the age of 14 to under the age of 17.
The provisions of the law apply to any minor who is:
• operating a bicycle;
• a passenger on a bicycle, including anyone who is in a restraint seat attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by a bicycle;
• roller skating, including inline skating; and
Under existing regulations which have not changed, the bicycle, roller skate or skateboard helmet must meet standards set by:
• The American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z90.4 bicycle helmet standard);
• The Snell Memorial Foundation’s 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling; or
• The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard or other such standards, as appropriate (in the case of roller skates and skateboards only).
Help Protect Your Customers
If you are a merchant who sells or rents bicycles, roller skates and/or skateboards, you are reminded of your responsibility to:
• post a sign that is at least 15 inches in length and 8 inches in width advising consumers that certain individuals must wear helmets. Your signs must be located at the point where the sale or rental transaction takes place and must now state either:
"STATE LAW REQUIRES A BICYCLE RIDER UNDER 17 YEARS OF AGE TO WEAR A HELMET"
"STATE LAW REQUIRES A PERSON UNDER 17 YEARS OF AGE TO WEAR A HELMET WHEN ROLLER SKATING OR SKATEBOARDING."
NOTE: Failure to comply with this notification requirement will render you subject to maximum fines of up to $25 a day for each day your business is open to the public and the sign is not posted.
If you rent bicycles, roller skates and/or skateboards, you must provide helmets to individuals under the age of 17 who will be operating the bicycle, roller skates or skateboard and who do not have helmets of their own. You may charge an additional fee for this service.
The requirements under this law do not apply to merchants who sell bicycles, roller skates or skateboards by mail order catalogue or brochure and who receive payment via mail, telephone or another telecommunications or electronic method.