Can I Wear a Mask While Riding a Bike?
For those trick-or-treaters in bigger neighborhoods or looking to cover more ground this Halloween, hopping on a bicycle rather than going door-to-door on foot might be a good plan. But is that plan a possibility if your costume includes a mask? Sure there are some general sartorial rules about what not to wear while cycling, but are there local laws against biking behind a mask?
Here's a look into that questions, as well as some other legal pointers regarding Halloween costumes this year.
Keeping Your Head (Safe)
Most states don't have specific, statewide statutes regarding helmets or headwear while cycling. However, 21 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory helmet laws for children and there may be local laws and ordinances in 29 other states that regulate helmet use. And the specific helmet requirements can vary by state and jurisdiction.
For example, Florida mandates that any rider under the age of 16 "must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger's head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets." And California prohibits riders under 18 from riding "unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)."
So, if your state, county, or city has no helmet laws, your mask may be OK, legally speaking. And if there are helmet laws in your state, as long as you can wear the helmet with the mask, you probably won't get into trouble. But, as always, safety comes first. So don't wear any mask that would impair your vision or otherwise keep you from cycling safely.
Other Dangerous Costumes
These kinds of questions often come up during Halloween season, so here are some other costume issues to consider:
- Halloween 101: Can I Wear a Mask While Driving?: Probably not a great idea.
- Is It Legal to Carry a Sword in Public?: It depends on where you live, and, in some cases, whether you're carrying that sword "in plain view" or not.
- Halloween 101: Are Nunchucks Legal?: For all you aspiring ninjas (or Ninja Turtles), you'll be happy to know that only 4 states specifically outlaw nunchucks. But be careful -- many others prohibit carrying items primarily designed as weapons.
Stay safe this Halloween, and before you make any iffy costume choices, maybe consult with an attorney first.
- Find Criminal Defense Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- Candy or Meth? It May Be Hard to Tell (FindLaw Blotter)
- Halloween Pranks That Will Get You Arrested (FindLaw Blotter)
- Common Halloween Crimes Committed by Minors (FindLaw Blotter)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.