Police to enforce helmet law

By Bob Albrecht, Columbian Staff Reporter

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Vancouver police are peddling an important message: Kids, wear your helmets.

Patrols by the Vancouver Police Department’s Traffic Unit will focus increasingly on making sure all bicyclists are complying with a city ordinance requiring helmets be worn at all times, Kim Kapp, a spokeswoman, said today.

Parents will be held responsible for anyone under 18 cited for not wearing, or having on but not appropriately fastened, a helmet, according to the city's code.

Kapp said police are increasingly focused on helmets as weather slowly warms and more people opt for something other than four-wheeled transportation. She said the issue is an important one for members of the traffic unit who have arrived at too many crash scenes in which a helmet would have helped prevent serious injuries.

The city’s ordinance includes not only bicycles, but also in-line skates, roller skates, scooters, unicycles and skateboards.

Violating the ordinance could result in a fine up to $50.