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Vancouver City Council ponders new helmet regulations

Posted by on January 10th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

kids riding in Northeast

(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

The city of Vancouver, Washington is considering adoption of a new ordinance that would require the use of helmets by anyone under the age of 18.

The new ordinance is set to go before the Vancouver City Council on Monday, January 14 at 6:00 p.m.

Vancouver is currently one of just a few cities in Washington that does not have a law requiring the use of helmets. The ordinance before council will require helmets by anyone under 18 who is operating (or is a passenger on) a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, rollerblades, or a unicycle on city right of way.

The proposal is being spearheaded by the Clark County Youth Commission. Fines for not complying with the ordinance would not exceed $50.00 and the citation could be dismissed if the person can demonstrate that they have acquired a helmet.

The city also plans to conduct an outreach campaign to stress the importance of the new law and they will provide helmets to a Police Department program that offers bicycle education and low-cost helmets.

Interest in a youth helmet ordinance grew after seven year-old Trevor Wagner was critically injured in a hit-and-run collision in church parking lot back in August of 2006. Wagner was not wearing a helmet.

Oregon’s youth helmet law applies to anyone under 16.

UPDATE: For more on this story, read this story in the Columbian.

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