New ATV Helmet Law For Minors Goes Into Effect Friday

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s new law that requires all children under age 18 to wear a helmet while riding or operating an off-road vehicle goes into effect this Friday, July 1.

The new law means owners of off-road vehicles who allow children to ride the machines on public or private land without wearing a helmet that meets federal safety standards could face a Class C infraction and up to a $500 penalty.

A 14-year-old Pike County boy and a 7-year-old Posey County girl were killed this past spring in separate crashes. Neither child was wearing a helmet.

That bill was named after an 11-year-old Warrick County girl killed in a 2015 ATV crash. Kate Bruggenschmidt was also not wearing a helmet at the time.

Today (Wednesday), Dubois County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Quinn, in a news release, shared answers to the most frequently asked questions to both his office and to local conservation officials…

Does the Helmet Law apply to Side by Sides and UTV’s?

Yes, the law pertains to all vehicles that are designed for cross country travel.

If I place a child in a car seat, does the helmet law still apply?

Yes, the use of a car seat does not exclude a child, under age 18 from being required to wear a helmet when riding on an off-road vehicle.

Does the helmet law apply to ATV’s being used around the farm?

When used for “farm purposes” the helmet law does not apply, however the law does apply when the vehicle is used for something other than “farming purposes.”

Does the helmet law apply to golf carts?

Golf carts are excluded from this law and no helmet is required.

Does my child need to wear a helmet when on a motorized mini-bike or dirt-bike?

Yes, the law applies to all vehicles specifically designed for off-road travel, excluding golf-carts.

Is a helmet required when my child is operating or riding on a Go-Cart?

Yes, this law also applies to Go-Carts.

Does the helmet law apply to battery operated toy machines?

The law applies to any machine that is designed for cross country travel. It includes certain battery operated machines, but the common toy machines that are only capable of slow back yard travel are not considered off road vehicles and helmets are not required for them.

Does this law only apply to public property or roadways?

No, the helmet law applies on public and private property.

Who is responsible if a violation is found by an officer?

The operator of any vehicle is ultimately responsible for any violation, including the failure of the operator to wear a helmet. However, the new law also allows the adult that is responsible for the ATV to be cited for the offense.

Are jeeps, trucks, crawlers, dunebuggies or similar vehicles included on this list?

If a vehicle is unregistered through the BMV and used for the purpose of cross-country travel it is within the definition that requires a helmet for all occupants under the age of 18.

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