Do you have to wear a helmet when bicycling in British Columbia?
Bicycle helmets save many lives each year. In fact, according to the United States’ Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, wearing a helmet while bicycling can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent. While helmets are not required by federal law in the U.S., Canada’s Motor Vehicle Act does require such safety equipment for both the bicycle operator and passenger when the bike is on a highway.
The helmet must meet specific specifications and standards in order for the bicyclist to be considered to be wearing an approved helmet. Parents can be held responsible if they allow their children who are under the age of 16 to ride without a helmet on.
The penalty for not wearing a bicycle helmet is $100. While this may seem like a simple matter to you, if you are bicycling and smash into another vehicle while on the highway, that helmet may help you save much more than $100 — it can save your life.
When someone is injured or killed in a bicycle accident that was caused by another person’s negligence or recklessness, the victim and his or her family can seek compensation through the civil court. No rider should suffer because a driver was changing the radio station, talking on his or her cellphone or was too drunk to drive.
By filing a civil action against the irresponsible driver, the victim and his or her family can seek damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish and much more. Speaking with an experienced attorney may provide a victim with the information needed to decide which of his or her options to pursue.
Source: Queen’s Printer, “Motor Vehicle Act,” accessed May 15, 2015
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