Mandatory Bicycle Helmets for All in NJ
A new bill introduced by Assemblyman Reginald Atkins would make New Jersey the first state in the nation to require everyone, including adults, to wear a helmet while operating a bicycle, scooter, or motorized scooter, or face a $25 fine.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), of the nearly 9k bicycle deaths in the U.S. from 2010 to 2020 84% of those riders were not wearing a helmet.
Assemblyman Atkins, who spoke with ABC news framed the proposed legislation as a way of “protecting us from the what-ifs.”
Some see the proposal as an unnecessary inconvenience, and bike advocate organizations, like the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, say the law is unnecessary and likely to discourage people from choosing to ride a bike over driving their car.
"We believe the safety of people who bike will be best advanced through safety improvements to our streets and our cars," the group said in a statement.
The bill itself, A4894, is currently being considered in the NJ State Assembly but would need to pass the State Senate, where a version has yet to be introduced before it could be signed into law by Gov. Murphy.
At this moment Murphy has given no indication of whether he would sign a bill requiring all NJ riders to wear helmets.
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