Arnold Schwarzenegger photo op bike ride with climate activist 16 year old teen Greta Thunberg violated California’s strict helmet laws. Arnold took a bike ride with Greta on November 4. See: Arnold Schwarzenegger rides bikes with Greta Thunberg: She’s ‘one of my heroes’ – November 5, 2019 – The “Terminator” star, 72, posted a series of photos with the 16-year-old as they went for a bike ride together around Santa Monica, Calif. They were joined by the actor’s daughter, Christina, and Thunberg’s father, Svante.
It was fantastic to see my friend and one of my heroes @GretaThunberg last week and go on a bike ride around Santa Monica together and I was so pumped to introduce her to my daughter Christina. Keep inspiring, Greta! pic.twitter.com/3Q6ZuInJHY
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) November 4, 2019
But the actor and the teen climate activist broke California law. This is not the first time Arnold has been called out for violating helmet laws. See: 2017: Think you’re above the law, Arnie? Arnold Schwarzenegger busted cycling around without a helmet on for a THIRD time… and son Patrick isn’t wearing one either & 2015: Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled over by Melbourne police – for riding bike without helmet
Instead of worrying about an alleged “climate emergency” why didn’t Arnold and Greta worry about the more real threat of head safety on a bike ride? Why didn’t Arnold care about Greta’s safety?
Children 17 Years Old and Under Must Wear a Helmet
Under California law, all children 17 and under must wear an approved bicycle helmet. (This also applies to children operating roller or inline skates, scooters, and skateboards.) If you violate this rule, you might face fines, civil liability, and other penalties. Under California law, it is illegal to sell bicycle helmets that do not meet certain safety standards. However, your children’s safety is paramount, and you should always look for helmets that are clearly marked as complying with bike safety standard.
It’s also important that you get your children properly fitting bicycle helmets. A helmet that is too large or too small will not provide significant protection during a fall or collision. If you need help fitting your child with a bicycle helmet, consult with a reputable bicycle shop.
Adults Should Wear Helmets When Biking — Even if the Law Doesn’t Require It
Some communities, including Bidwell and Chico, require adults to wear bicycle helmets, state law does not mandate their use. While some bicycle advocacy groups don’t support helmet laws, Los Angeles Bicycle Law encourages all cyclists to wear appropriate protective gear. While a bicycle helmet cannot fully protect your head, brain, face, and eyes from injury, it might minimize the damage. And, wearing a bicycle helmet encourages your children and peers to follow suit.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the most serious injuries associated with bicycle accidents. During a wreck, you might strike your head against the pavement, a vehicle, or sustain a whiplash injury. These mechanisms can cause immediate brain bleeds as well as more subtle, microtrauma to delicate nerve fibers. These injuries can lead to cognitive dysfunction, headaches, blurred vision, mood changes, amnesia, sensory processing problems, and death.
While it might seem surprising that there isn’t a California bicycle helmet law for adults, there isn’t a single U.S. state that requires adult helmet use. In fact, only 21 states and the District of Columbia require children to use bicycle helmets! However, when you’re traveling make sure you review state and municipal bicycle laws– which are constantly evolving.
Bicycles and Personal Injuries
Bicycle accidents can occur for many reasons. A driver is distracted and doesn’t see you in a bike lane. A parked car unexpectedly doors you. Someone is speeding, ignores a stop sign or traffic light, or is driving while intoxicated. Many of these situations are outside your control.
However, cyclists should take all reasonable precautions when biking. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to take bicycle safety seriously — our lives and welfare depend on it. This includes following California and municipal bicycle laws, properly maintaining your bicycle’s brakes and other systems, installing legally-mandated lights and reflectors, and wearing a helmet.