As part of statewide efforts to encourage greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists, some Florida municipalities are citing parents if their children do not wear bicycle helmets.
In Orange County, the Sheriff’s Office issued 60 citations in October 2016 alone to parents of children who were not wearing bike helmets. That number was 20 more than all of 2015. Local schools have all been instructed to inform parents of the ramp-up in enforcement. The penalty for not wearing a bike helmet is $62.50, unless a parent can prove he or she purchased a helmet within 30 days after receiving the citation.
In Florida, it’s illegal for any children younger than 16 to ride a bike without a helmet. For the most part, municipalities have not invested a lot of time in enforcing this rule, as evidenced by the low citation totals for last year. But as pedestrian and bicycle accidents, along with distracted driving accidents, continue to become an even greater problem in Florida, law enforcement officials are trying a wide variety of tactics to make roads safer for everyone.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, there are around 100 biking accidents involving children in Orange County alone each year.
Cyclists and drivers each responsible for safety
While this particular type of enforcement encourages cyclists to take responsibility for their own safety, Florida law enforcement officials have also been reminding drivers to stay alert and watch for cyclists and pedestrians on the road. Many bicycle-car accidents happen simply because the driver did not notice the bicyclist.
For more information on your legal options after suffering an injury in a bicycle accident, contact a trusted Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.