As of January 1, 2019, California State law does not require electric scooter riders over the age of 18 to wear a helmet. Ages 17 and under must wear a helmet on an electric scooter.
The old law:
Prior to December 31, 2018, everyone who rides an electronic scooter is required to wear a DOT-approved helmet under California law. This law could soon change, however, due to the recent passage of e-scooter bill AB 2989.
Created by Ripon’s Assemblymember Heath Flora (R), AB 2989 would only require e-scooter users under the age of 18 to ride with a helmet on. This bill would also allow e-scooter users to ride on streets without bike-protected lanes so long as the speed limit was less than 35mph. To read the full text of AB 2989, please click on this link.
Although e-scooter rental companies advise all of their customers to wear helmets at all times, some are reportedly supporting this new bill. Executives at companies like Lime and Spin believe requiring all e-scooter riders to wear DOT-approved helmets would hurt their businesses. Company leaders also said California’s current helmet requirement might turn people off from trying this eco-friendly mode of transport from Lime, Bird, Spin, Scoot, Lyft, Uber and Skip.
Currently, AB 2989 is in California’s Senate. Senators must make a decision whether to pass or kill this bill by August 31, 2018. If it passes, then this bill will go to Governor Edmund Brown.
Update: September 2018: The bill has passed and has gone to the Governor.
Update: January 1, 2019: Helmets are no longer required for scooter riders over the age of 18.