As the official grand opening of Snoqualmie’s new skate park approaches, the city council has begun looking at adopting stronger helmet requirements on city property.
Councilmember Katherine Ross explained to the council that the Public Safety Committee discussed making changes to the existing helmet requirements in the city. The proposed change would alter city code to require a helmet be used when an individual uses a wheeled recreational device on city property. Currently the city code only requires helmets be worn on public streets, rights-of-way or alleys.
With the city code setting a requirement for helmets, there are also penalties in place for those who ride without them. Police Chief Perry Phipps said that while officers have the option of offering a warning to anyone who does not meet city code, continued violations could result in a civil violation or even a misdemeanor.
The council and Chief Phipps also noted there will be multiple upcoming events where children can receive free helmets. On Saturday June 8, the annual Bicycle Safety Rodeo in Memory of Tanner Jeans will be giving out helmets as part of bike examinations if the child does not have one. The event will also feature several biking lessons and safety instructions for children biking this summer.
The grand opening of Snoqualmie’s new skate park on The Ridge will also be held on June 8. The event, called Skate Jam, will also be a place where residents can receive a free helmet, Chief Phipps said.
If the ordinance is approved, some signage in the city will have to be changed as signs by the skate park currently say a helmet is “highly recommended” instead of required.
The ordinance was only introduced at the meeting, the council will take formal action to approve or reject the change at the May 28 meeting.