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Richmond Heights passes city ordinance making bicycle helmets mandatory for riders under age 16

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- It is now mandatory in Richmond Heights that bike riders younger than 16 wear helmets.

A new safety ordinance was passed by city council Tuesday night.

Ordinance 373.02 states that individuals under 16 must wear a bike helmet when riding in public. That includes riding on a bike as a passenger.

“I’ve always said cops and kids have a long-standing relationship. We are always looking out for them so when we see unsafe behavior, we act on it,” said Chief Thomas Wetzel.

Wetzel said there was a similar ordinance in the last city he worked in and he wanted to ensure that kids in Richmond Heights were safe.

“A lot of little ones don’t know what is at risk. Their heads are still forming and they don’t realize that if they get in a serious crash, how bad it can be,” said Wetzel.

Wetzel said the ordinance serves as a more educational tool.

In most cases, officers will write “friendly warnings” to children and even talk to their parents.

If parents can not afford a helmet, Wetzel said the police department has ones free of charge.

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