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The following was signed into law September 9, 1999 and became effective
January 5, 2000:

Modification to vehicle and traffic law Section 1265

S 1265. Wearing of helmets.

1. No person less than fourteen years of age shall ride a horse unless such
person is wearing a helmet meeting or exceeding ASTM F1163 (Safety Equipment
Institute Certified) Equestrian standard. For purposes of this section, "certified"
shall mean that the helmet's manufacturer agrees to the rules and provisions of a
system that includes independent testing and quality control audits, and that each
helmet manufactured by such manufacturer is permanently marked with the certifying
body's registered mark or logo before such helmet is sold or offered for sale. For
the purposes of this section, wearing a helmet means having a helmet fastened
securely upon the head using the manufacturer's fitting guidelines for the particular
model used.

2. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall pay a civil fine not
to exceed fifty dollars. A police officer shall only issue a summons for a violation
of this section by a person less than fourteen years of age to the parent or guardian
of such person if the violation by such person occurs in the presence of such person's
parent or guardian and where such parent or guardian is eighteen years of age or more.
Such summons shall only be issued to such parent or guardian, and shall not be issued to
the person less than fourteen years of age.

3. (A) The court shall waive any civil fine for which a person who violates the
provisions of this section would be liable if such person supplies the court with proof
that between the date of violation and the appearance date for such violation such person
purchased or rented a helmet. (B) The court may waive any civil fine for which a person who
violates the provisions of the section would be liable if the court finds that due to
reasons of economic hardship such person was unable to purchase a helmet.

4. The failure of any person to comply with the provisions of this section shall not
constitute contributory negligence or assumption of risk, and shall not in any way bar,
preclude, or foreclose an action for personal injury or wrongful death by or on behalf of
such person, nor in any way diminish or reduce the damages recoverable in any such action.

S 2. The general business law is amended by adding a new Section 369-DD to read as follows:

S 369-DD Renting of horses; helmets and safety information.
1. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
A. "Horse" includes a horse, pony, mule or hinny.
B. "Horse Provider" includes any person, firm, corporation or other legal entity hiring
or renting out horses for riding or providing training in the riding of horses for
2. Every horse provider shall provide protection helmets to beginning riders and to riders
less than fourteen years of age at no cost beyond the rental fee; offer all riders the use
of such protective helmets regardless of their age or experience; and provide appropriate
helmet safety information to all riders.
3. Such helmets shall comply with the requirements of section twelve hundred sixty-five of
the vehicle and traffic law.
4. A knowing violation of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed
fifty dollars for each such violation.

S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become
a law. [ January 5, 2000]
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