ASSEMBLY, No. 2192

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 27, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires persons under age 17 to wear helmets when operating non-motorized scooters.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act requiring persons under age 17 to wear helmets when operating non-motorized scooters and amending P.L.1991, c.465 and P.L.1997, c.411.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 2 of P.L.1991, c.465 (39:4-10.2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.  a.  A person who violates a requirement of this act shall be warned of the violation by the enforcing official.  The parent or legal guardian of that person also may be fined a maximum of $25 for the person's first offense and a maximum of $100 for a subsequent offense if it can be shown that the parent or guardian failed to exercise reasonable supervision or control over the person's conduct.  Penalties provided in this section for a failure to wear a helmet may be waived if an offender or his parent or legal guardian presents suitable proof that an approved helmet was owned at the time of the violation or has been purchased since the violation occurred. 

     b.  All money collected as fines under subsection a. of this section and subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.6) shall be deposited in a nonlapsing revolving fund to be known as the "Bicycle and Skating Safety Fund."  Interest earned on money deposited in the fund shall accrue to the fund.  Money in the fund shall be utilized by the director to provide educational programs devoted to bicycle, scooter, roller skating and skateboarding safety.  If the director determines that sufficient money is available in the fund, he also may use, in a manner prescribed by rule and regulation, the money to assist low income families in purchasing approved bicycle helmets.  For the purposes of this subsection, "low income family" means a family which qualifies for low income housing under the standards promulgated by the Council on Affordable Housing pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1985, c.222 (C.52:27D-301 et seq.).

(cf: P.L.1997, c.411, s.11)

 

     2.  Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.5) is amended to read as follows:

     1.  a.  As used in this act:

     "Director" means the Director of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     "Roller skates" means a pair of devices worn on the feet with a set of wheels attached, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, and used to glide or propel the user over the ground.

     “Scooter” means a device with a set of wheels attached, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, designed to be operated from a standing position and controlled by use of a handle bar and used to glide and propel the user over the ground.

     b.  A person under 17 years of age shall not operate any roller skates, scooter or skateboard unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened helmet which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z90.4 bicycle helmet standard), the Snell Memorial Foundation's 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard or other such standard, as appropriate.

     c.  The requirement in subsection b. of this section shall apply at all times while a person subject to the provisions of this act is operating roller skates, a scooter or a [skateboarding] skateboard on any property open to the public or used by the public for roller skating, operating scooters, or skateboarding.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.208, s.3)

 

     3.  Section 4 of P.L.1997, c.411 (39:4-10.8) is amended to read as follows:

     4.  a.  It shall be unlawful to manufacture, assemble, sell, offer to sell or distribute roller skates, scooters, skateboards or electric personal assistive mobility devices unless such roller skates, scooters, skateboards or electric personal assistive mobility devices contain a warning notice consistent with the requirements of this section.

     b.  The warning notice required by subsection a. of this section shall be placed in at least one of the following locations and shall be clearly visible to the consumer:  (1) on one roller skate in each pair of roller skates, on the scooter, or on the skateboard; (2) on the outside of the box or other container in which the roller skates, scooter, skateboard or electric personal assistive mobility device  [are] is offered for sale at retail; or (3) on any user's guide or instruction manual provided with the roller skates, scooter, skateboard or electric personal assistive mobility device.

     c.  The warning notice required by subsection a. of this section must be printed in clear and conspicuous type and be substantially similar to the following notice:  "WARNING! REDUCE THE RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY AND ONLY USE WHILE WEARING FULL PROTECTIVE GEAR -- HELMET, WRIST GUARDS, ELBOW PADS AND KNEE PADS."

     d.  A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling roller skates, scooters, skateboards or electric personal assistive mobility devices who complies with the requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a user of roller skates, a scooter, a skateboard or an electric personal assistive mobility device as a result of that user's failure to wear a helmet in accordance with the provisions of this act.

(cf: P.L.2001, c.430, s.2)

 

     4.  Section 5 of P.L.1997, c.411 (39:4-10.9) is amended to read as follows:

     5.  a.  A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting roller skates, scooters or skateboards shall post a sign at the point where the sale or rental transaction is completed stating:  "STATE LAW REQUIRES A PERSON UNDER 17 YEARS OF AGE TO WEAR A HELMET WHEN ROLLER SKATING [OR], SKATEBOARDING, OR OPERATING A SCOOTER."  The size of the sign shall be at a minimum 15 inches in length and 8 inches in width.  This notification requirement shall not apply to a seller when roller skates, scooters or skateboards are sold through the use of a mail order catalog or brochure where the purchase and payment are made by mail, telephone or another telecommunications or electronic method.

     b.  A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity who fails to post the sign required by subsection a. of this section shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $25 a day for each day the business is open to the public and the sign is not posted.  The enforcement of this subsection shall be vested in the director, the inspectors appointed under his authority and the police or peace officers of, or inspectors duly appointed for this purpose by, any municipality or county or the State.  Jurisdiction of proceedings to collect the penalties prescribed by this act is vested in the Superior Court and the municipal court in any municipality where the defendant resides.  Process shall be either a summons or warrant and shall be executed in a summary manner pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

     c.  A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of renting roller skates, scooters or skateboards shall make available an approved helmet to a person under 17 years of age who rents the roller skates, scooters or skateboards for use in an area where a helmet is required, if the person does not already have a helmet in his possession. A fee may be charged for the helmet rental.

     d.  A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting roller skates, scooters or skateboards who complies with the applicable requirements of this section shall not be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a user of roller skates, a scooter or a skateboard who is under the age of 17 years as a result of that person's failure to wear a helmet in accordance with the provisions of this act.

     e.  Sixty days before the effective date of [this act] P.L.    ,            c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall make a reasonable effort to notify any person, firm, corporation or other legal entity who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting [roller skates or skateboards] scooters of the requirements of this section.  The responsibility of a person, firm, corporation or other legal entity under this section shall not be abrogated or diminished in any manner if the person fails to receive or become aware of a notice from the division.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.208, s.4)

 

     5.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month next following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would require persons under 17 years of age to wear a helmet when operating a scooter.  The bill would amend current law to include scooters under provisions that currently apply to operators, sellers, and manufacturers of roller skates and skateboards.

     Current law, that this bill would make applicable to scooters, specifies that the helmets worn must meet the American National Standards Institute's standards for bicycle helmets, the Snell Memorial Foundation's 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling or the American Society for Testing and Materials' standards.

     Under current law, the parent or legal guardian of a person who violates the provisions of the bill may be fined up to $25 for a first offense and up to $100 for any subsequent offense.  The penalty may be waived, however, if the offender, or the offender’s parent or guardian, can prove that an approved helmet or appropriate personal protection equipment has been purchased since the violation occurred.  Any moneys collected as fines are to be deposited in a special fund, known as the "Skating Safety Fund."  These fund moneys are to be used to provide educational programs promoting scooter, roller skating and skateboard safety.  If there are sufficient funds, moneys may be used to assist low income families purchase helmets.

     Under the bill, persons who sell or rent scooters would be required to advise their customers of the legal provisions concerning the wearing of approved helmets and appropriate personal protection equipment.  Businesses complying with this requirement would not to be liable in a civil action for damages for any physical injury sustained by a scooter’s operator who fails to wear a helmet.