Colorado Legislative Council Staff



Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0367

Rep. Bacon



Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

January 13, 1999

House Transportation & Energy

Janis Baron (303-866-3523)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

Cash Fund


Fine Revenue


Fine Revenue

State Expenditures

General Fund



FTE Position Change

0.0 FTE

0.0 FTE

Other State Impact: TABOR

Effective Date: July 1, 1999 — and shall apply to violations committed on or after said date.

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000: None required.

Local Government Impact: Increase in fine revenue.

Summary of Legislation

            The bill includes the following provisions relative to wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle.


               Creates class B traffic infractions for: (1) operating or riding a bicycle on a roadway without wearing a helmet, if the person is under 16 years of age; (2) operating a bicycle on a roadway while carrying a person under 16 who is not wearing a helmet; and (3) knowingly permitting a child under 16 to operate a bicycle on a roadway without wearing a helmet (as a parent or legal guardian). Creates a $15 fine for violation of the helmet requirements.

               Allows first-time offenders to pay the fine or provide proof to the court that they have the required helmet.

               Provides that parents of children under 12 will be cited for the violation (not the children); and that children between 12 and 16 may be cited or that their parents or legal guardians may be cited.

               Exempts from these requirements any person whose religious beliefs would be violated if they were to wear a helmet.

               Exempts from these requirements any person operating a bicycle in any, city, county, or city and county that has enacted traffic regulations prohibiting children 16 and under from riding a bicycle without a helmet.

               States that evidence showing a person failed to wear a helmet shall not be admissible to reduce damages or as a defense to an action brought by or on behalf of an injured or deceased bicyclist or bicycle passenger or their survivors.

               Authorizes the Department of Public Safety to establish a statewide education program concerning the importance of helmet use for bicyclists.


State Revenues

            Any revenue collected from a traffic citation issued by the Colorado State Patrol, county sheriff, or a municipal peace officer, filing in a county court, would be deposited into the HUTF. Based on the HUTF distribution formula, 65 percent of fine revenue increases would go to the Department of Transportation, 26 percent would go to counties, and 9 percent to cities. The number of persons violating and receiving citations as a result of HB 99-1103 is anticipated to be small, thus the impact to state revenues will be minimal.

State Expenditures

            Although the bill authorizes the Department of Public Safety to establish a statewide bicycle helmet public education and awareness program, the program is not mandated. The Department indicates that it has produced and distributes brochures addressing bicycle helmet safety.

Local Government Impact

            Municipalities generally adopt provisions of the state traffic code into their municipal ordinances. Revenues collected from convictions on citations for these offenses filed in municipal court would be municipal revenues.

Departments Contacted

            Public Safety