County Commissioners last night unanimously approved a new helmet ordinance for the unincorporated areas of Spokane County. The ordinance requires those between three and sixteen-years of age to wear an approved helmet when riding/using bicycles, electric-assisted bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices (excludes wheelchairs), in-line skates, roller skates, skate shoes, scooters and skateboards in public areas (i.e. roadways, sidewalks, etc.).
The helmet ordinance does not include an enforcement component; those violating the ordinance will not be charged with a civil infraction. Instead, law enforcement and the Spokane County Regional Health District will develop a public education campaign that will include the distribution of informational materials to violators that explain traumatic brain injury and the possible risk to those who do not wear helmets. The new helmet ordinance will go into effect immediately.
County Commissioner Mark Richard initially proposed an ordinance that would apply to everyone, regardless of age, and included an enforcement component. However, his motion died for lack of a second and following further discussion, he supported the adopted ordinance.