General Question

Pandora's avatar

Is it legal for a child under the age of 10 to ride his bike without a helmet in virginia?

Asked by Pandora (27539points) September 18th, 2010

There is this kid in our neighborhood who speeds through the parking lot at 9:30 pm without any reflectors or even a helmet. Everytime I see him he is unsupervised and when its really late he is alone.
I keep thinking that this is not going to end well for him someday. There are a lot of big vehicles in the parking lot that really limit views when pulling out. Plus, I’ve seen this kid speed by without even looking to see if any vehicles are pulling out.
I’ve thought of calling the cops but I don’t even know if it is illegal in the state of Virginia for him to be a minor out at 9;30.
Can’t speak to his parents. Dad is a douche and mom must not care to let a child out alone at those late hours.
Even though the child is a terror (what I heard by 3rd party), I feel sorry for him. He doesn’t know any better and his parents can hardly be called parents. He’s out from the time he comes from school till late evening running the streets.
Sorry for the long story but I detest neglectful parents.
Is there something the cops can do?

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12 Answers

krose1223's avatar

CPS?? That might be a little drastic, but that is extremely dangerous and sounds neglectful to me. You might just call the local PD and ask if it’s illegal. I really hope it is.

rangerr's avatar

It depends on where in VA you are.
Where I grew up, we weren’t required to wear helmets. But where we moved, I got “the talk” from my police-neighbors quite often because I didn’t even own a helmet.

Several jurisdictions in Virginia require that every person fourteen years of age or younger shall wear a protective helmet whenever riding or being carried on a bicycle on any highway, sidewalk, or public bicycle path. The jurisdictions reporting such ordinances to VDOT are:

Albemarle County
City of Alexandria
Amherst County
Arlington County
Clarke County
City of Falls Church
Fairfax County
Floyd County
City of Hampton
City of Harrisonburg
James City County
Town of Luray
City of Manassas
City of Manassas Park
City of Norfolk
Orange County
City of Petersburg
Prince William County
Stafford County
Town of Vienna
Town of Wise
York County

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

When I was a kid I got home from school and rode my bike (or whatever madness I could get into) until the sun went down. I’m not sure this necessarily neglect… but you certainly know the family better than I do. I agree with the @krose1223, it might be a good idea to call the police department to find out. Maybe they would even be willing to come down and educate the parents on helmet safety and any curfews that might be in place. CPS seems very extreme to me.

Pandora's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie and @Krose, I didn’t say I would call CPS. Goodness knows they do less than most.
There are places where a child can safetly ride but I our parking lot is not one of those places. I see cars zoom in and out. I know his parents have to have noticed that as well. The kid speeds his bike through the parking lot that has to be at least 10 mph.
I just don’t see how he can be out riding in the dark without reflectors or any safety gear. Just him slamming into a car at the speed he is going would probably flip him in the air onto the hard road. He looks like he may be 8 but some kids are small for their age so its hard to tell.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Pandora right, I agree. I saying that I thought CPS was far too extreme a measure, just because it was mentioned in the first post.

I agree that it sounds dangerous, I do think the local police would be willing to step in and educate the parents.

krose1223's avatar

@pandora- I know you didn’t say it… It was just a random thing that I didn’t really think was necessary but for some reason I put it anyway… I put the question marks just because I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to put it.
Come on, read my mind next time!! ;-)

marinelife's avatar

It is by county. The law is under 15 must be wearing a helmet. This chart lists the counties that have the law.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Pandora's avatar

@krose1223 My bust. Sorry, it was late so my mind reading skills were a litte askew.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Personally, I would call the non-emergency number for the police and ask them what the helmet laws and curfews are in your area (since you are worried about him being out late). Once they tell you what the laws are, you can then report the boy and his parents if they are indeed breaking the law. I think it’s best to report it and let the police take care of it since you said you can’t really talk to the parents.

Another idea, if you are in an apartment or rental complex (I’m guessing you might be since you mentioned a parking lot), you could complain to the property manager about the kid riding around in the parking lot at night with no reflectors or helmet and without looking where he is going. They may be able to talk to the parents about it.

YARNLADY's avatar

I suspect it might differ between being in a private parking lot as opposed to a public street. You can talk to the manager about the child being unsupervised, which is probably against the apartment rules.

Zaku's avatar

Police can and sometimes will help with situations even if nothing about them is illegal.

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