If you love to ride a bike, then the chances are good that you make it a family activity. Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage that can be enjoyable for the whole family. It also allows your child to finally be big enough to ride his or her own bike when you go on a family ride.
While you may practice safe biking habits all the time, especially when riding with your child, it is even more important to stress safety once he or she begins riding on his or her own. One of the most important things to stress to your child is why he or she must wear a helmet. In addition, you need to talk to him or her about the legal consequences of not wearing a helmet because some kids will be resistant to wearing a helmet and may try to go without whenever you are not around.
According to ABC 10, it is illegal for anyone in California under the age of 18 to ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet. If law enforcement sees your child riding his or her bike without a helmet, then the officer can give your child a ticket. The cost of the ticket will not be over $25, but the interaction with law enforcement will probably be scary for your child. At the very least, it should leave a lasting impression about following the law.
You do have the ability to have an officer rescind the ticket if you show your child has gone through a bike safety course. You also must show your child does have a helmet to wear going forward. While, financially, this may be helpful to you, it may be a bigger lesson for your child to have to work to pay for the ticket. He or she will be more likely to remember to put on that helmet every time he or she rides a bike because the lesson will stick in his or her head.