Protective Helmets

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Protective Helmets

Protective Helmets:BoArd Authority and requirement to UPDATE Fairfax County code 82-6-38.1 Office of the County Attorney


Current Authority

Virginia Code 46.2-906.1 authorizes the Board to require persons under the age of 14 to wear protective helmets, meeting at least the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, while riding or being carried on (a)4 different types of vehicles, in (b) 3 locations. 2

Types of VehiclesBicycleElectric Power-Assisted BicycleToy VehicleElectric Personal Assistive Mobility Device3

Types of Vehicles: BICYCLE[A] device propelled solely by human power, upon which a person may ride either on or astride a regular seat attached thereto, having two or more wheels in tandem, including children's bicycles, except a toy vehicle intended for use by young children. Va. Code Ann. 46.2-100


Types of Vehicles: BICYCLE

Note The County Code already requires bicycle riders under the age of 15 to wear helmets.


Types of Vehicles:ELECTRIC POWER-ASSISTED BICYCLE[A] vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and (ii) an electric motor with an input of no more than 1,000 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. Va. Code Ann. 46.2-100


Types of Vehicles:TOY VEHICLEAny motorized or propellant-driven device that has no manufacturer-issued vehicle identification number that is designed or used to carry any person or persons, on any number of wheels, bearings, glides, blades, runners, or a cushion of air. Toy vehicle does not include electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, or motorcycles, nor does it include any nonmotorized or nonpropellant-driven devices such as bicycles, roller skates, or skateboards. Va. Code Ann. 46.2-100


Types of Vehicles:TOY VEHICLEIncludesToy CarsHoverboardsMotorized ScootersSelf-balancing Skateboards and Scooters8

Types of Vehicles:ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICE [A] self-balancing two-nontandem-wheeled device that is designed to transport only one person and powered by an electric propulsion system that limits the device's maximum speed to 15 miles per hour or less. Va. Code Ann. 46.2-100




Three LocationsHighwaySidewalkPublic Bicycle Path11

Three Locations:HIGHWAY[T]he entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in the Commonwealth, including the streets and alleys, and, for law-enforcement purposes, (i) the entire width between the boundary lines of all private roads or private streets that have been specifically designated highways by an ordinance adopted by the governing body of the county, city, or town in which such private roads or streets are located and (ii) the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place used for purposes of vehicular travel on any property owned, leased, or controlled by the United States government and located in the Commonwealth. Va. Code Ann. 46.2-100.


Three Locations:SIDEWALK[T]he portion of a street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines, intended for use by pedestrians. Va. Code Ann. 46.2-100


Three Locations:PUBLIC BICYCLE PATHNot defined in Va. Code Ann. 46.2-100, or elsewhere in Virginia Code. Words not defined are given their usual meaning. See Higgs v. Kirkbridge, 258 Va. 567, 574, 522 S.E.2d 861, 864 (1999).14

Required UpdateIssue: Reference in Fairfax County Code Section 82-6-38.1 to the standards organization (for helmet standard) is out of date.Proposed Correction: Change American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.


Proposed LegislationCurrently pending, HB 1360, regulating helmet use of persons under age 18, would eliminate the Boards authority to regulate helmet use while riding being carried on a bicycle or an electric power-assisted bicycle. The Board would keep the authority to require helmets for persons under age 15 while riding a toy vehicle or an electric personal assistive mobility device in any of the three locations.