If a parent or guardian allows a young cyclist (under the age of 16 years old) to ride a bicycle, without wearing a proper helmet, the parent or guardian who should have been supervising the child, can be charged under section 104(2.2) of the Highway Traffic Act. This carries with it a $60.00 fine. This doesn’t include the victim fine surcharge of $15.00 or the court cost of $5.00.
In a few months school will be out and children will want to ride their bikes together. As parents, we want our children to remain safe when cycling. Everyone on a bicycle should wear a properly fitting safety helmet and the law requires young cyclists under the age of sixteen (16) to always wear one.
If police observe a cyclist under the age of 16 riding a bike without a helmet, the parent can be charged pursuant to section 104 (2.2) of the Highway Traffic Act. This charge does not have to accompany an accident.
On April 30, 2011 a nine (9) year old was riding his bicycle in Sudbury, Ontario when he was involved in an accident. He was riding his bike, but was not wearing a bicycle helmet, when he was struck by a motor vehicle in an intersection.
The boy rode into the path of a southbound car at 1 p.m., Greater Sudbury Police said in a release.
“The male youth was not wearing a bicycle helmet at the time and was quite lucky that his injuries were not worse,” police said.
He was taken to hospital, treated and released.
Officers charged his parent under the Highway Traffic Act for failing to ensure his child was wearing a bicycle helmet.
The charge carries a fine of $75.
“With the weather improving, more youths will be out on their bicycles,” police said. “Parents are reminded that they are responsible to ensure that their children and teenagers under the age of 16 are wearing their bicycle helmets.”
About 75% of cycling fatalities are related to head injuries. Research shows that from 1991 to 2002, deaths amongst cyclists in Ontario under the age of 15 dropped by 52%.
“This reduction is believed to be related to the use of bicycle helmets. There has not been a corresponding drop in the death of cyclists not required by law to wear a helmet,” police said.
Section of the Highway Traffic Act that applies:
Motorcyclists to wear helmet
104. (1) No person shall ride on or operate a motorcycle or motor assisted bicycle on a highway unless the person is wearing a helmet that complies with the regulations and the chin strap of the helmet is securely fastened under the chin. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 104 (1).
(2) No person shall carry a passenger who is under sixteen years of age on a motorcycle on a highway unless the passenger is wearing a helmet that complies with the regulations and the chin strap of the helmet is securely fastened under the chin. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 104 (2).
Bicyclists to wear helmet
(2.1) Subject to subsection 103.1 (2), no person shall ride on or operate a bicycle on a highway unless the person is wearing a bicycle helmet that complies with the regulations and the chin strap of the helmet is securely fastened under the chin. 2009, c. 5, s. 36 (1).
Duty of parent or guardian
(2.2) No parent or guardian of a person under sixteen years of age shall authorize or knowingly permit that person to ride on or operate a bicycle, other than a power-assisted bicycle, on a highway unless the person is wearing a bicycle helmet as required by subsection (2.1). 1993, c. 18, s. 1; 2009, c. 5, s. 36 (2).
Other laws exist in Ontario that apply to the parent and/or guardian of a child that is under the age of eighteen (18). The Parental Responsibility Act, 2000 makes a parent and/or guardian responsible for the behaviour of a child that isn’t being reasonably supervised by the parent/guardian that results in loss to someone else. The Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario has produced a pamphlet called “The Parental Responsibility Act – Recovering Losses in Small Claims Court … making it easier for victims of property crime committed by youth”