Is it Legal to Ride a Bike Without a Helmet in New York State?
My friend and I were having a conversation the other day about riding bicycles, something neither one of us has done in years. We were discussing how when we were kids bicycle helmets were unheard of. Seriously, I’m pretty sure they weren’t even invented yet. Anyway, she said something about hating the idea of having to wear a helmet if we ever did decide to ride, which I’m pretty sure is not going to happen.
That’s when I asked her if it’s a law in New York State that adults have to wear bike helmets. I know you have to wear a helmet on a motorcycle, and I know that kids are required to wear bicycle helmets, but what about adults and bicycle helmets? My friend said she was pretty sure it was a law, but I wasn’t so sure.
So, I googled it, of course. And guess what… according to the New York State DOT, the bicycle helmet law in New York State requires you to wear a helmet if you are under 14 years old. So, adults don’t have to wear helmets. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t, it just means we are not required to by law. And there are other things to consider. Even though it’s not a state law, there are some parks and trails that may require you to wear a bicycle helmet no matter how old you are. I believe Minnewaska State Park now requires all cyclists to wear helmets. There are also communities that may require helmets regardless of age.
So, here’s the scoop. Everyone under the age of 14 must wear a bicycle helmet. It’s the law here in New York State. Adults are not required to wear a bicycle helmet by law, but there are some areas and trails were helmets are required. It would be smart for you to check before you head out for a ride at one of our many Hudson Valley Parks. Biking can be dangerous, and I’m thinking helmets are probably a good idea for everyone. They may not be pretty, but better safe than sorry, right?