Camas, WA — In a 5-2 vote Monday night, the Camas City Council voted to adopt Ordinance No. 18-006, requiring the use of bike helmets by any person operating or riding on a bicycle, in-line skates, roller skates, scooter, unicycle, or skateboard in any public area within the city.
Violation of this new ordinance, which will be active within 5 days of being signed by the Mayor and publicly published, would be a civil infraction. The parent or guardian, in certain circumstances, can be held responsible if a minor is in violation of the helmet ordinance.
The ordinance says “the helmet shall have a neck or chin-strap which is securely fastened while in use. It gives police officers the authority to stop and detain anyone in violation and provides discretion whether to issue an appropriate warning or citation. The ordinance does have a religious exemption.
Some facts about the new ordinance:
- Violators of the helmet ordinance are subject to a $50 penalty, which could be waived in court.
- For children under age 11, the citation would be issued to parents or guardians.
- For children 12-16, the citation may be issued to the child or the parent or guardian.
Council members Don Chaney and Deanna Rusch were the dissenting votes.
Chaney spoke passionately against the ordinance, suggesting it would be hard to enforce. Rusch was concerned about legal liability issues to the city. She thinks there should be a greater focus on education, and that it could negatively impact lower-income families by requiring them to buy gear, and then citing them if they violate the ordinance.
To learn more, visit cityofcamas.us