NJ Bicycle Helmet Laws
The number of Americans bicycling to work has increased by 60 percent in the last 20 years according to the U.S. Census. Bicycling is seen as a healthier and more environmentally friendly way to commute, but there are rules that have been put in place to lower the risks associated with bicycling. The “helmet law” in New Jersey requires people under the age of 17 to wear helmets when riding bicycles. Any person that violates this law will have to pay $25 for a first violation and up to $100 for a second violation. All laws concerning bicycling in New Jersey can be found under the Title 39 of the New Jersey Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations.
Bicycle Riding Rules In New Jersey
You are required to follow the same rules that govern motorists when you are riding a bicycle. For example, you have to stop at all red lights and stop signs, you have to signal before turning, and you have to stop at crosswalks when pedestrians are crossing. However, there are other rules that apply specifically to bicyclists and they include:
- Bicycles must have reflectors and lights at night that can be seen by vehicles 500 feet away. The front lights should be white and the rears lights red.
- Individuals under the age of 17 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or when being towed by a bicycle
- Individuals should install a horn, bell or other audio signaling device, and that device must be loud enough to be heard 100 feet away
- You cannot use sirens or whistles as audio signaling devices
- A bicycle must have a brake that allows the wheels to skid on dry clean pavement, and the rider must check the brakes before riding
- Your bicycle must have a seat and you must place your hands on the handle bars and your feet on the pedals when riding the bicycle
- Bicyclists must ride on the right side of traffic and must follow other cyclists in a single file
There are several other rules for bicyclists in New Jersey. Anyone that rides a bicycle should use a helmet even if they are older than 17 years. The reason for this is that head injuries are the most common injuries in cycling accidents. In fact, wearing a helmet reduces the odds for serious injury by 50 percent.
Exemptions To Helmet Laws In New Jersey
People who ride bicycles on a roadway closed to motor traffic are exempt from helmet laws in New Jersey. Another exempt group is people riding bicycles on a boardwalk, path, route, or a trail that is only designated for the use of bicycles. But these exemptions do not apply if these areas are not separated from motor vehicle traffic, or there is no barrier separating them from motor vehicle traffic.
How A Lawyer Can Help
You may need a lawyer if you or a family member is injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle. Your lawyer will guide you on what to do to help you secure maximum and fair recovery of your damages. The lawyer can also help you gather enough evidence to support your case.
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