Bicycle Helmet Safety
Health Promotion and Community Wellness staff work with community partners including schools and police departments to provide children's bicycle helmets and safety education to eligible participants residing within the county limits.

Our free program demonstrates the correct use of helmets through elementary school bike rodeos and one-on-one education in three geographical locations in Solano County: Vacaville-Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun and Vallejo-Benicia.

For more bicycle safety information, please visit our Safe Routes to School page. Click here: Bike Safety Events for a schedule of upcoming Bike Rodeos.

Funding for the Bicycle Helmet Safety program comes from fines collected for violations of the California Vehicle Code 21212 which states:

A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, nor shall they wear in-line skates, nor ride upon a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard as a passenger, upon a street, or bikeway, as defined in section 840.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public bicycle path or trail unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or standards subsequently established by those entities. This requirement also applies to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat that is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle.
Free Helmets - Who's Eligible?
Free bicycle safety helmets are available to children under age 18 if their family resides in Solano County and meets one or more of the eligibility requirements listed here:
  • Medi-Cal recipient
  • CalWORKS recipient
  • Partnership HealthPlan of California member
  • Solano WORKS participant
  • Low Income
Safety Helmet Tips
  • As of January 2003 in California, children under age 18 must use helmets when riding any device on wheels, including bikes, scooters, skateboards, roller blades, skates and tricycles. Toddlers towed in a bicycle trailer must wear helmets.
  • The use of helmets is a learned habit. Children must be encouraged to wear a helmet every time they ride.
  • Bike helmets are made to protect the rider from falls that affect the top of the head. Most riders pitch forward when falling. A different helmet is needed for scooters, skateboards and roller blades, as most falls are sideways or backwards. A multi-sport helmet is available, but there are no regulatory standards for them.
  • The best bike helmets are rated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Helmets come with an instruction booklet that describes how to use them correctly. They also come with stick-on padding that can be added to the inside of the helmet to adjust the fit.
  • Helmets should fit squarely and snugly on the head. There should be no shifting of the helmet when the head is turning or moved up and down.
  • There are 2 sliding clips that should be positioned directly below each ear. When the strap is buckled under the chin, no more than two fingers, side-by-side, should fit between the strap and the chin.
  • When buying a helmet, consider getting one that is white in color. The color of a helmet may leave a child open for gang-related violence. For example, in Solano the colors red and blue should be avoided.
  • When a helmet is involved in a crash, it should be replaced. There may be invisible, structural damage that would cause the helmet to fail during the stress of another crash.
Additional Resources
For proper helmet fit visit Kids' Safety
Kids Health for Kids go to Kids' Bike Safety
California Bicycle Helmet Law: Helmet Law
Kids' Plates help fund child safety programs through sales of special California DMV license plates

    Traffic safety rules: California Office of Safety

For more information, contact Tracy Nachand, MAT, Senior Health Education Specialist
(707) 784-8638