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California adults get OK to ride motorized scooters without helmets

SACRAMENTO — Scooter riders can let the wind flow through their hair — at their own risk, of course — after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday allowing adults to decide whether to wear a helmet.

Brown signed AB2989 by Assemblyman Heath Flora, R-Ripon (San Joaquin County), which brings motorized scooters under the same legal requirement as motorized bicycles — only riders age 17 and under are required to wear a helmet. The bill was backed by one of the leading scooter rental companies, Bird.

Besides lifting the helmet requirement for adults, the bill authorizes cities to allow scooters on streets that have a speed limit of 35 mph. At present, scooters can be operated only on streets where the speed limit is 25 mph or less.

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