Riding an e-scooter without a helmet to be legal in California. What could go wrong?

No helmet? No problem. Adults who want to ride a two-wheeled electric scooter, or e-scooter, without a helmet may soon do so without risking a ticket thanks to a bill Gov. Jerry Brown signed Wednesday.

Upon taking effect Jan. 1, the new law will allow adults 18 and older the option to wear a helmet when riding an e-scooter on a street with a maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour. Riding a scooter on a sidewalk is still illegal, and the speed limit to ride them is now 15 miles per hour.

Brown’s signing of the law comes as cities across California and the nation heed to warnings of potentially serious injuries sustained from falls or accidents from the e-scooters.

Among the most alarming statements on the state of e-scooter safety: Michael Sise, chief of medical staff at San Diego’s Scripps Mercy Hospital, recently told The Washington Post that, “Injuries are coming in fast and furious. It’s just a matter of time before someone is killed. I’m absolutely certain of it.”

San Diego city leaders are mulling rules that could discourage risky behavior, but the City Council has not yet set anything in stone.

The bill is a big win for e-scooter companies like Bird and Lyft — in San Diego, there’s also Razor Scooter — which already advise riders to wear a helmet but have no way of enforcing it.

Californians have had a lot of strong opinions about the electric scooters taking over cities and riders zipping through pedestrians. And now the new helmet-optional law is getting a lot of mixed reactions.

Rules for riding scooters just got a little more lax. But is that a good thing?

Weigh in with your thoughts — should adults wear a helmet to ride an e-scooter anyway? Would you ride one without a helmet?

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