Washington state law does not require bicyclists to wear a helmet while riding. That means that the decision to set and enforce bicycle helmet laws is left up to the local cities and counties to set their own bike helmet laws. King County and the city of Seattle do require bicyclists to wear helmets while riding in public.
King County first established a law requiring bicyclists of all ages to wear helmets in 1993. However, that law did not apply within city of Seattle until it was later updated in 2003. That law was repealed in February 2022 and took effect in March 2022 but, a number of cities within King County have their own ordinances requiring the use helmets and were unaffected by the repeal.
While some local helmet laws across Washington state only apply to people of certain ages (for example, the city of Poulsbo's helmet law only applies to those under the age of 18), King County's helmet law applies to everyone who rides a bicycle.
Washington State Localities Requiring Bicycle Helmet Use
Below is a table listing all of the localities in Washington state that currently have active laws requiring helmet use among bicyclists, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT):
|Locality||Who Is Affected||Effective Date|
|Bainbridge Island||All ages||2001|
|Gig Harbor||All ages||1996|
|King County*||All ages||1993 (Updated in 2003)|
|Orting||Under 17 Years Old||1997|
|Pierce County (unincorporated)||All ages||1994|
|Port Angeles||All ages||1994|
|Port Orchard||All ages||2004|
|Poulsbo||Under 18 Years Old||1995|
|University Place||All ages||1996|
|All Military Installations||All ages||N/A|
*As of March 2022, the King County law requiring the use of helmets for bicyclists in King County was repealed. There are 17 cities within the county that have their own mandatory laws that were not affected by the repeal. Those cities include:
- Black Diamond
- Des Moines
- Federal Way
- Lake Forest Park
- Maple Valley
- North Bend
Contact The Attorneys at Davis Law Group
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident or other type of incident due to the fault or negligence of another person, Washington state law may entitle you to pursue a personal injury claim against the person responsible for causing your injuries. You may be able to recover damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses.
Contact the award-winning Seattle bicycle accident lawyers at Davis Law Group today to request a free legal consultation with our top-rated legal staff. Call (206) 727-4000 or use the confidential contact form on this page to get started with a complimentary case review.