Wisconsin does not have a mandatory bike helmet law for adults or children. That means adults and children can legally ride their bicycles without a helmet. The same applies to moped operators. A Wisconsin moped driver does not have to wear a helmet. 22 States have bike helmet laws for young riders and the ages often differ depending on the state.
Cities and towns can create their own rules for riding bicycles. For example, the state law in Wisconsin leaves riding on the sidewalk up to municipalities. The city of Port Washington Wisconsin has a municipal ordinance that requires children under 16 years old to wear a helmet while biking. I am unaware of any other cities in Wisconsin that have rules for children/ bike helmets. If you know of any, please post in the comments section.
Everyone agrees that bicycle helmets reduce injuries in collisions. There is a strong debate over whether the government should require bikers to wear helmets and if the goverment does require helmet use will it lead to less riders and thus result in more health problems than it saves. For more on bike helmet usage and laws and whether not wearing a helmet could be used against you in a personal injury case, click here.
CITY OF PORT WASHINGTON WISCONSIN BIKE HELMET LAW:8.12.010 Bicycle Helmets
1. Any person less than 16 years of age operating or riding on a bicycle on a public roadway, public sidewalk, public bicycle path, or any other public right-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of the City shall wear a protective helmet designed for bicycle safety. Such helmets shall meet or exceed the impact standards for protective bicycle helmets set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
A. A person under 16 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, unicycle, skate board or scooter, nor shall they wear in-line or roller skates, nor ride upon a bicycle, unicycle, skate board, scooter, in-line or roller skates as a passenger, at a public skate board recreation facility under the jurisdiction and control of the City unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened protective helmet that eets or exceeds the impact standards for bicycle helmets set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation, or standards subsequently established by those entities.
2. No parent or guardian of any child shall authorize or knowingly permit such child to violate any of the provisions of this ordinance.
3. This ordinance applies to a child seated in an auxiliary child’s seat or trailer designed for attachment to a bicycle.
4. Except as provided herein, violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than twenty-five (25) dollars. The parent or legal guardian having control or custody of the minor whose conduct violates this section shall be jointly and severably liable with the minor for the amount of a fine imposed pursuant to this subdivision.
5. The court may waive any fine for such person found guilty of violating the provisions of this ordinance if the person supplies the court with proof that between the date of the violation and the appearance date for such violation, the person purchased or otherwise obtained a helmet which meets the requirements of this ordinance. 8.13.000 PENALTY
. The penalty for violation of any provision of this ordinance shall be a forfeiture as hereinafter provided together with the cost of prosecution imposed as provided in Section 345.20 to 345.53, Wis. Stats.