Existing law requires a person under 18 years of age to wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet, as specified, while operating, or riding as a passenger upon, a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, or while wearing in-line or roller skates, upon a street, bikeway, or any other public bicycle path or trail. A violation of this provision is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $25. This bill would prohibit additional fees from being added to the abovedescribed fine unless the citation is contested.
AAP Positional Letter
May 10, 2018
Honorable Jim Beall
Chair, Senate Transportation and Housing Committee
State Capitol, Room 2209
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 3077 (Caballero) Vehicles: children safety
AAP-CA Position: Support (May 9, 2018 amended version)
Dear Chair Beall,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports AB 3077 (Caballero). By reducing excessive fines and related actions, AB 3077 would facilitate collaborative community efforts to increase bike helmet use among children, thus reducing injury and death due to bicycle crashes in which the child is not wearing a helmet.
Bicycling to school is an important mode of transportation for many California students. Safety research shows that bicycle helmet use can reduce serious head injuries by more than 65%. Recent school surveys show that helmet use has dropped to less than 20%. A 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics report shows that in eight out of nine childhood fatalities due to bicycle crashes the child did not have on a helmet. The report also found that the vast majority of these children were children of color from low income neighborhoods.
The original bicycle helmet law placed the traffic fine for not wearing a helmet at $25. For a number of years after the passage of the helmet law local law enforcement, schools, and children’s health and safety groups worked together to encourage use of and access to helmets. The helmet use in many California communities reached 60%. Since then the traffic fine involving helmets has risen to $300, which has had the effect of breaking the collaborative efforts between schools, parents, local law enforcement and bicycle safety groups. AB 3077 (Caballero) will bring California’s bicycle helmet enforcement fines back down from $300 to $25 and make the ticket a “fix-it- ticket” allowing a family to obtain a helmet and/or go through a local bike safety course to have the ticket waived.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide urge you to vote AYE on AB 3077 (Caballero). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Members
Office of Honorable Anna Caballero, California State Assembly (Author)
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne