Bill Text: NJ S1632 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Increases age for helmet requirement for bicycling, roller skating, and skateboarding to 17 and younger; extends helmet requirement to ice skaters and operators of non-motorized scooters.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-02-05 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee [S1632 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S1632-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 1632

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 5, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

Senator  NICHOLAS J. SACCO

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases age for helmet requirement for bicycling, roller skating, and skateboarding to 17 and younger; extends helmet requirement to ice skaters and operators of non-motorized scooters.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning helmet requirements while operating bicycles, ice skates, roller skates, scooters, and skateboards and amending P.L.1991, c.465 and P.L.1997, c.411.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1991, c.465 (C.39:4-10.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  A person under [17] 18 years of age shall not operate, or ride upon a bicycle as a passenger, unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z90.4 bicycle helmet standard) or the Snell Memorial Foundation's 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling.  This requirement shall apply to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat which is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle.

     As used in this act, "bicycle" means a vehicle with two wheels propelled solely by human power and having pedals, handle bars, and a saddle-like seat. The term shall include a bicycle for two or more persons having seats and corresponding sets of pedals arranged in tandem.

     b.    The director shall publish a list of bicycle helmets which meet the standards described in subsection a. of this section and shall provide for its distribution in as many locations frequented by the public as the director deems appropriate and practicable.

     c.     The requirement in subsection a. of this section shall apply at all times while a bicycle is being operated on any property open to the public or used by the public for pedestrian and vehicular purposes; however, a municipality may by ordinance exempt from this requirement a person operating or riding on a bicycle as a passenger when the bicycle is operated:

     (1)   on a road or highway closed to motor vehicle traffic and limited to pedestrian or bicycle use at all times or only during specified periods of time during which bicycles may be operated; or

     (2)   exclusively on a trail, route, course, boardwalk, path, or other area which is set aside for the use of bicycles or for the use of pedestrians and bicycle operation is not otherwise prohibited. However, an exemption may not be granted under this paragraph for any portion of a trail, route, course, boardwalk, path, or other area which is immediately adjacent to a road or highway used by motor vehicle traffic and which does not contain a barrier of sufficient height and rigidity to prevent the inadvertent or deliberate entry of a bicycle operator onto the road or highway.

     d.    An ordinance enacted pursuant to subsection c. of this section shall specify those roads, highways, trails, routes, courses, boardwalks, paths, or areas within the municipality where helmets are not required during the operation of a bicycle.

     e.     When a bicycle is being operated in an area where bicycle helmets are not required, the operator or a passenger, except a passenger in a restraining seat or trailer, shall dismount from the bicycle and walk whenever it is necessary to enter a crosswalk or to cross a road or highway upon which motor vehicle traffic is permitted.

(cf: P.L. 2005, c.208, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 3 of P.L.1991, c.465 (C.39:4-10.3) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    a.  A person regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles shall post a sign at the point where the sale or rental transaction is completed stating:  "STATE LAW REQUIRES A BICYCLE RIDER UNDER [17] 18 YEARS OF AGE TO WEAR A HELMET."  The size of the sign shall be at a minimum 15 inches in length and 8 inches in width.  This notification requirement shall not apply to a seller when a bicycle is sold through the use of a catalog or brochure and the purchase and payment are made by mail, telephone, or another telecommunications or electronic method.

     A person who fails to post a sign required by this subsection within 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory act (P.L.1995, c.177) shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $25 a day for each day the business is open to the public and the sign is not posted.  The enforcement of this subsection shall be vested in the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs of the Department of Law and Public Safety, the inspectors appointed under [his] the director's authority, and the police or peace officers of, or inspectors duly appointed for this purpose, by any municipality or county or by the State.  Jurisdiction of proceedings to collect the penalties prescribed by [this act] P.L.1995, c.177 is vested in the Superior Court and the municipal court in any municipality where the defendant may be apprehended or where [he] the defendant may reside.  Process shall be either a summons or warrant and shall be executed in a summary manner pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

     b.    A person regularly engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall provide a helmet to a person under [17] 18 years of age who will operate the bicycle in an area where a helmet is required, if the person does not already have a helmet in [his] the person's possession. A fee may be charged for the helmet rental.

     c.     A person regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles who complies with the applicable requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a bicycle operator or passenger who is under the age of [17] 18 years as a result of the operator's or passenger's failure to wear a helmet or to wear a properly fitted or fastened helmet in violation of the requirements of this act.

     d.    Within 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory act (P.L.1995, c.177), the director [Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety] shall make a reasonable effort to notify any person who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles of the requirements of this section. The responsibility of a person under this section shall not be abrogated or diminished in any manner if the person fails to receive or become aware of a notice from the division.  Sixty days before the effective date of P.L.     , c.    (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the division shall make a reasonable effort to notify any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles of the requirements of this section.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.208, s.2)

 

     3.    Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.5) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  As used in this act:

     "Director" means the Director of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     "Ice skates" means a pair of shoes or light boots with permanently fixed runners for skating on ice. 

     "Roller skates" means a pair of devices worn on the feet with a set of wheels attached, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, and used to glide or propel the user over the ground.

     "Scooter" means a device with a set of wheels attached, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, designed to be operated from a standing position and controlled by use of a handle bar and used to glide and propel the user over the ground.

     b.    A person under [17] 18 years of age shall not operate any ice skates, roller skates, scooter, or skateboard unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened helmet which meets the standards of 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, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard, or other such standard, as appropriate.

     c.     The requirement in subsection b. of this section shall apply at all times while a person subject to the provisions of this act is operating ice skates, roller skates, a scooter, or [skateboarding] a skateboard on any property open to the public or used by the public for ice skating, roller skating, operating scooters, or skateboarding.

     d.    A person under 18 years of age shall not be required to wear a helmet while operating ice skates as required in subsection b. of this section if the person is under the supervision of a coach and is practicing for, or participating in, an organized figure skating competition.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.208, s.3)

 

     4.    Section 2 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.6) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    a.  A person who violates the provisions of section 1 of [this act] P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.5) by failing to wear an approved helmet shall be warned of the violation by the enforcing official. The parent or legal guardian of the violator may be fined a maximum of $25 for a first offense and a maximum of $100 for a subsequent offense.  The penalties provided under the provisions of this subsection for failing to wear an approved helmet may be waived if the parent or legal guardian of the violator presents suitable proof that an approved helmet or appropriate personal protection equipment has been purchased since the violation occurred.

     b.    All moneys collected as fines under subsection a. of this section shall be deposited in the "Bicycle and Skating Safety Fund" pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.465 (C.39:4-10.2). 

(cf:  P.L.1997, c.411, s.2) 

 

     5.    Section 3 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.7) is amended to read as follows: 

     3.    The failure of any person to comply with the provisions of section 1 of [this act] P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.5) shall not constitute negligence per se, contributory negligence, or assumption of risk, and shall not in any way bar, preclude, or foreclose an action for personal injury or wrongful death by or on behalf of such person.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.411, s.3) 

 

     6.    Section 4 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.8) is amended to read as follows:

     4.    a.  It shall be unlawful to manufacture, assemble, sell, offer to sell, or distribute ice skates, roller skates, scooters, skateboards, or electric personal assistive mobility devices unless [such] the ice skates, roller skates, scooters, skateboards, or electric personal assistive mobility devices contain a warning notice consistent with the requirements of this section.

     b.    The warning notice required by subsection a. of this section shall be placed in at least one of the following locations and shall be clearly visible to the consumer:  (1) on one ice skate or roller skate in each pair of ice skates, roller skates, or on the scooter or skateboard; (2) on the outside of the box or other container in which the ice skates, roller skates, scooter, skateboard, or electric personal assistive mobility device are offered for sale at retail; or (3) on any user's guide or instruction manual provided with the ice skates, roller skates, scooter, skateboard, or electric personal assistive mobility device.

     c.     The warning notice required by subsection a. of this section [must] shall be printed in clear and conspicuous type and be substantially similar to the following notice:  "WARNING! REDUCE THE RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY AND ONLY USE WHILE WEARING FULL PROTECTIVE GEAR -- HELMET, WRIST GUARDS, ELBOW PADS, AND KNEE PADS."

     d.    A person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling ice skates, roller skates, scooters, skateboards, or electric personal assistive mobility devices who complies with the requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a user of ice skates, roller skates, a scooter, a skateboard, or an electric personal assistive mobility device as a result of that user's failure to wear a helmet in accordance with the provisions of [this act] P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.5 et al.).

(cf:  P.L.2001, c.430, s.2) 

 

     7.    Section 5 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.9) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    a.  A person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting ice skates, roller skates, scooters, or skateboards shall post a sign at the point where the sale or rental transaction is completed stating:  "STATE LAW REQUIRES A PERSON UNDER [17] 18 YEARS OF AGE TO WEAR A HELMET WHEN ICE SKATING, ROLLER SKATING, OPERATING A SCOOTER, OR SKATEBOARDING."  The size of the sign shall be at a minimum 15 inches in length and 8 inches in width.  This notification requirement shall not apply to a seller when ice skates, roller skates, scooters, or skateboards are sold through the use of a mail order catalog or brochure where the purchase and payment are made by mail, telephone, or another telecommunications or electronic method.

     b.    A person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity who fails to post the sign required by subsection a. of this section shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $25 a day for each day the business is open to the public and the sign is not posted.  The enforcement of this subsection shall be vested in the director, the inspectors appointed under [his] the director's authority, and the police or peace officers of, or inspectors duly appointed for this purpose by, any municipality or county or the State.  Jurisdiction of proceedings to collect the penalties prescribed by this act is vested in the Superior Court and the municipal court in any municipality where the defendant resides.  Process shall be either a summons or warrant and shall be executed in a summary manner pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

     c.     A person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of renting ice skates, roller skates, scooters, or skateboards shall make available an approved helmet to a person under [17] 18 years of age who rents the ice skates, roller skates, scooters, or skateboards for use in an area where a helmet is required, if the person does not already have a helmet in [his] the person's possession. A fee may be charged for the helmet rental. 

     d.    A person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting ice skates, roller skates, scooters, or skateboards who complies with the applicable requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a user of ice skates, roller skates, a scooter, or a skateboard who is under the age of [17] 18 years as a result of that person's failure to wear a helmet in accordance with the provisions of [this act] P.L.1997, c.411.

     e.     Sixty days before the effective date of [this act] P.L.1997, c.411, the [Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety] division shall make a reasonable effort to notify any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting roller skates or skateboards of the requirements of this section.  Sixty days before the effective date of P.L.     , c.    (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the division shall make a reasonable effort to notify any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting ice skates or scooters of the requirements of this section.  The responsibility of a person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity under this section shall not be abrogated or diminished in any manner if the person fails to receive or become aware of a notice from the division.

(cf:  P.L.2005, c.208, s.4)

 

     8.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

      This bill increases the age for requiring a person to wear a helmet when bicycling, roller skating, or skateboarding to 17 years of age and younger.  Current law requires persons 16 years of age and younger to wear a helmet when bicycling, roller skating or skateboarding.

      The bill also extends this helmet requirement to ice skaters and operators of non-motorized scooters.  Currently, only roller skaters and skateboarders are required to wear helmets.  The bill exempts figure skaters involved in organized competitions from the helmet requirement.

      Currently, a parent or legal guardian of a person who fails to wear a helmet when bicycling, roller skating, or skateboarding is subject to a fine of up to $25 for the first offense and up to $100 for the second offense.  Under the bill, these penalties also would be imposed on a parent or legal guardian of a person who fails to wear a helmet when ice skating or operating a non-motorized scooter.

      Under current law, it is unlawful to manufacture, assemble, sell, offer to sell, or distribute bicycles, roller skates, or skateboards without a warning notice advising customers of the legal provisions concerning the wearing of approved helmets and appropriate personal protection equipment, and persons selling or renting bicycles, roller skates, or skateboards are required to advise their customers of these legal provisions and make helmets available to persons subject to the helmet requirement.  Businesses complying with these requirements would not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a bicyclist, roller skater or skateboarder who fails to wear a helmet.  The bill expands these requirements and civil immunity provisions to ice skates and non-motorized scooters.

      The bill does not amend section 8 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.12), and therefore, it is the sponsor's understanding that the bill's provisions do not apply to operators and patrons of roller skating rinks subject to the "New Jersey Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act," P.L.1991, c.28 (C.5:14-1 et seq.).

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