Bicycle helmet laws by country

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  No legal restrictions
  Some local laws apply
  Children only; other local laws may also exist
  Partial rules apply
  Mandatory but no fines apply

The wearing of bicycle helmets and attitudes towards their use vary around the world. The effects of compulsory use of helmets are disputed[1] (see Bicycle helmet laws). Only the four countries of Argentina, Cyprus,[2] Australia, and New Zealand currently both require and enforce universal use of helmets by cyclists. In some other jurisdictions partial rules apply, such as only for children (e.g. in France), in certain states or sub-national divisions (e.g. British Columbia in Canada), or under other limited conditions.[3]

Legislation by country[edit]

Australia was the first country to enact mandatory bicycle helmet use for all cyclists.[4] Mexico City has had mandatory cycle helmet laws repealed, and in Italy the Federazione Italiana Amici della Bicicletta managed to block a proposed helmet law.[5] While bicycle helmets are not required to be worn by law in the United Kingdom the British Medical Journal has published an article advocating the compulsory use of helmets.[6] Cycling UK, the largest cycling advocacy organisation in the UK, considers helmet wearing should be a personal choice rather than being mandated by legislation.[7] In 2002 an attempt was made to introduce bicycle helmet legislation in Poland but it was opposed by cyclists' organisations.[8]

Bicycle helmet legislation
Country Age Last change Notes
 Argentina All 2004 Mandatory.[9] Fines are collected by the provinces.
 Australia All 1990–92 Compulsory for all ages in public spaces except for those older than 17 in the Northern Territory that are not using car carriageways (e.g: footpaths, cycle paths, trails).[10]
 Austria 12 2011 [11]
 Belgium None [12]
 Brazil None 1997
 Canada [note 1] [note 2] Legislation on the use of bicycle helmets originates from provincial and territorial legislation. As a result, laws surrounding the use of bicycle helmets varies across the provinces and territories of Canada.

The use of bicycle helmets is compulsory in the provinces of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.[13] In the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, the use of helmets is mandatory for cyclists under the age of 18 years.[14][15][16][17]

Use of a helmet is not mandatory in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.[18]

 Chile All 2009 Mandatory in urban zones and suggested in rural zones [19]
 Costa Rica All 2012 [20][21]
 Croatia 16 2011 Mandatory for children below 16 only if riding on a road.[22]
 Cyprus All 2022 Mandatory for everyone. [23]
 Czech Republic 18 2006 [8][24]
 Denmark None
 Estonia 16 2011 [25]
 Finland None 2003[26] Not required, but recommended.[27]
 France 12 2017 Mandatory for children below 12 year old (passenger or driver), fines apply [28]
 Germany None
 Hong Kong None In 2009, Transport Secretary announced that government had no intention of introducing mandatory helmet law, based partly on "international views that a mandatory requirement may lead to a reduction in cycling activities."[29]
 Hungary None 2010 Wearing a helmet increases the speed limit for bicycles outside populated areas from 40 km/h to 50 km/h.[30]
 Iceland 15 1998 Iceland has considered – but not pursued – extending its helmet law to adults.[31][32][33]
 India None
 Ireland None [34]
 Isle of Man None Cyclists "should" wear helmets, but they are not compulsory.[35]
 Israel 18 2011 Starting from 2011, only applies under 18 years of age, in interurban ways and during sport events.[36]
 Italy None
 Japan 13 2008 Article 63-11 of the Road Traffic Act requires that persons responsible for children under 13 must ensure that the children wear helmets. However, there is no penalty associated with this article.[37]
 Jersey 13 2014 Failure to comply with the Law could result in a fine being issued.[38]
 Latvia 12 2014
 Malta 10 2004 Bicycles: Only under 10 year olds riding as passengers on an adult's bicycle are required to wear a helmet.[39]
 Mexico None 2010 Mexico City repealed mandatory helmet laws in 2010.
 Namibia All [40]
 New Zealand All 1993
 Netherlands None [41]
 Norway None [42]
 Philippines None 2021 No requirement nationwide, but some cities such as Quezon City have helmet mandate laws, with non-compliance punishable with fines.[43]
 Poland None [8]
 Portugal None 2013 No requirement
 Russia None 2014 No requirement (except for users of electric power-assisted bicycles with more than 250W engine or electric powered speed excess 25 km/h)[44]
 Singapore All Since 2018, all cyclists (power-assisted or not) must wear a helmet.
 Slovakia 15 Only cyclists under 15 years of age (no fines apply)[45]
 Slovenia 15 2000 [8]
 South Africa All 2004 Compulsory for all cyclists but in practice the law is not enforced. No fine had been agreed.[46]
 South Korea 13 2006
 Spain All (interurban roads) /
16 (urban areas)
2015 In urban areas helmet is only required for under 16 years old riders (Art. 47 of "Ley sobre Tráfico, Circulación de Vehículos a Motor y Seguridad Vial")[47]

The city of Mollet del Vallès in Catalonia has voted and approved in 2020 mandatory helmet to ride a bicycle for anyone of any age on local bylaw, quote of Art. 18 "Those who ride a bicycle on urban streets in Mollet del Vallès will have to use a helmet, whether they are older than legal age or minor."[48]

 Sweden 15 2005 No penalty for children cycling alone who do not obey the law. Also applies to Segway use.[49]
  Switzerland None [29]
 Togo All 2013 Mandatory helmet policy was enacted by the National Assembly of Togo, since 1975 but the enforcement by the National Police only started in Jun 2013 upon enactment of a new road code.[50][51]
 UAE All 2010 Dubai[31]
 Ukraine None
 United Kingdom None [29][52]
 United States [note 3] [note 4]
 Uruguay None 2015 [53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The federal Government of Canada has not passed any legislation regarding the use of bicycle helmets. Compulsory use of helmets for those of a certain age is dependent on the province/territory.
  2. ^ Legislation on bicycle helmet use in Canada was passed by provincial/territorial governments, and not the federal government. 1995 was the last change to bicycle helmet-related legislation in New Brunswick, and Ontario; 1996 was the last change to bicycle helmet-related legislation in British Columbia; 1997 was the last change to bicycle helmet-related legislation in Nova Scotia; 2002 was the last change to bicycle helmet-related legislation in Alberta; 2003 was the last change to bicycle helmet-related legislation in Prince Edward Island; 2013 was the last change to bicycle helmet-related legislation in Manitoba; 2015 was the last change to bicycle helmet-related legislation in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  3. ^ The federal government of the United States has not passed any legislation over the use of bicycle helmets. Compulsory use of helmets for those of a certain age is dependent on local/state legislation.
  4. ^ The federal government of the United States has not passed any legislation over the use of bicycle helmets. Legislation on bicycle helmet use in the United States are passed by local/state governments within the United States.


  1. ^ Zee, Renate van der (2015-10-12). "Should bike helmets be compulsory? Lessons from Seattle and Amsterdam". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  2. ^ House of Representatives - Cyprus. "House of Representatives - Cyprus" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Bicycle Helmet Laws". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  4. ^ Curnow, W. J. "Bicycle Helmets: A Scientific Evaluation" in Anton De Smet (2008). Transportation Accident Analysis and Prevention. Commack, N.Y: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1-60456-288-0.
  5. ^ "Examples of successful campaigns". European Cyclists Federation. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Legislative and non-legislative interventions". British Medical Association. 17 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  7. ^ "CTC policy handbook". Cyclists' Touring Club. March 2004. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d Avenoso, Antonio; Beckmann, Jörg (2005). The Safety of Vulnerable Road Users in the Southern, Eastern and Central European Countries (The "SEC Belt") (PDF). Brussels: European Transport Safety Council. ISBN 90-76024-18-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  9. ^ "National Law 24,449 - Article 40 bis". InfoLEG.
  10. ^ Government, Northern Territory (20 November 2019). "Bicycle safety". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Kids Obliged to Wear Helmet in Austria". 3 October 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Fietshelm". 24 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Bicycle Helmets | Service NL". Archived from the original on 5 April 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  14. ^ Justice, Manitoba. "Manitoba Laws". Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  15. ^ "Bike Safety | Injury Prevention | Healthy Living and Healthy Populations | Manitoba Healthy Living and Seniors | Province of Manitoba". Archived from the original on 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  16. ^ Government of Ontario Ministry of Transportation. "Bicycle Safety". Retrieved 7 May 2020. All bicycle riders under the age of 18 are required to wear an approved bicycle helmet when travelling on any public road.
  17. ^ "Fewer kids died after Ont. adopted bike helmet law: research". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  18. ^ "City council decides unanimously against helmet proposal". Postmedia News. 17 April 2007. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  19. ^ "Ley de Tránsito | Movimiento Furiosos Ciclistas". Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Obligaciones de los ciclistas (Articulo #119)". Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  21. ^ "Nº 9078 LEY DE TRÁNSITO POR VÍAS PÚBLICAS TERRESTRES Y SEGURIDAD VIAL, ARTÍCULO 119. -Obligaciones de los ciclistas". 26 October 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Zakon o izmjenama i dopunama Zakona o sigurnosti prometa na cestama". Narodne Novine. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Helmet wearing mandatory for cyclists".
  24. ^ "Helmet laws: Czech Republic". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  25. ^ "Traffic Act–Riigi Teataja". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  26. ^ Oy, Edita Publishing. "FINLEX ® - Ajantasainen lainsäädäntö: Kumottu säädös Tieliikennelaki (kumottu) 267/1981". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  27. ^ "FINLEX ® - Hallituksen esitykset: HE 103/2002". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  28. ^ "Article". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  29. ^ a b c "(Hong Kong) Written reply to Legco by Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, 4 June 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  30. ^ Kft, Wolters Kluwer Hungary. "1/1975. (II. 5.) KPM-BM együttes rendelet a közúti közlekedés szabályairól - Hatályos Jogszabályok Gyűjteménye". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  31. ^ a b "Bicycle Helmet Laws". Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  32. ^ "Iceland". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  33. ^ "Icelandic Cyclist Federation". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  34. ^ McGreevy, Ronan (15 October 2015). "Donohoe rules out making cycle helmets compulsory". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  35. ^ "The Manx Highway Code" (PDF). Isle of Man Government. p. 23. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  36. ^ "חוק לתיקון פקודת התעבורה )מס' 99 ,)התשע"א-201" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  37. ^ "Road Traffic Act". Japanese Law Translation. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  38. ^ "Jersey cycle helmet law". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 July 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  40. ^ "National Fine List". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  41. ^ "Traffic rules & regulations for cyclists". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  42. ^ "Norwegian bicycle rules". Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  43. ^ Ordinance No. 2942 (12 June 2020), The Bicycle Riders Helmet Ordinance of Quezon City (PDF)
  44. ^ "Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 23.10.1993 N 1090 (as amended on 23.07.2016)". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  45. ^ "What changes does the law on road transport put into place?". 26 June 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  46. ^ "Cycling Helmets and Cycling Safety". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  47. ^ "BOE-A-2015-11722 Real Decreto Legislativo 6/2015, de 30 de octubre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley sobre Tráfico, Circulación de Vehículos a Motor y Seguridad Vial". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  48. ^ "Ordenança de circulació de vehicles i vianants | Ajuntament de Mollet del Vallès | Normativa local". Cercador d'Informació i Documentació Oficials (CIDO) - Diputació de Barcelona. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  49. ^ "Helmet laws: Sweden". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  50. ^ "Legitogo" (PDF). Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  51. ^ "Togo : Le port du casque et la ceinture de sécurité désormais obligatoire - Actualité du Togo, Information de Lomé". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  52. ^ "The Highway Code - Rules for cyclists (59 to 82) - Guidance - GOV.UK".
  53. ^ "Lo que tiene que saber si va a salir a andar en bicicleta". El Observador (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-04-19.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]