A N A C T
RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 31-1-17 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-1 entitled "Definitions and General Code Provisions" is hereby amended to read as follows:
31-1-17. Types of persons. -- (a) "Bailee" means a bailee is one to whom possession of personal property has been entrusted by the bailor for a specific purpose resulting from either an express or implied contract, with the understanding that this personal property shall be returned to the bailor or any person designated by the bailor when the terms and purposes of the contract have been accomplished.
(b) "Chauffeur" means any person who drives a jitney, bus, school bus, motor vehicle used principally for hire with operator, or trackless trolley coach, regardless of the vehicle's capacity, and any person who drives a truck, tractor, or tractor semitrailer, if the gross vehicle weight is twenty-six thousand and one pounds (26,001 lbs.) or more. Proper officers and drivers of fire apparatus when in the performance of their duties are not deemed to be chauffeurs.
(c) "Driver" means any operator or chauffeur who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.
(d) "Operator" means every person, other than a chauffeur, who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon a highway or who is exercising control over or steering a vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle.
(e) "Owner" means a person who holds the legal title to a vehicle. In the event a vehicle is the subject of an agreement for conditional sale or lease with right of purchase upon performance of stated conditions and immediate right of possession vested in the vendee or lessee, or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then the conditional vendee, lessee, or mortgagor is deemed the owner for the purposes of chapters 1 -- 27 of this title.
(f) "Pedestrian" means any person afoot.
(g) "Person" means every individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association.
(h) "Skateboarder, rollerskater, inline skater, or scooter rider" means any person who utilizes a human-powered device containing any number of wheels, whether in tandem or inline, which enables the person to propel himself or herself in a given direction.
SECTION 2. Section 31-19-2.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-19 entitled "Operation of Bicycles" is hereby amended to read as follows:
Helmets required on bicycle operators and passengers ages fifteen (15) and younger. Helmets required on bicycle operators, bicycle passengers, skateboarders, rollerskaters, inline skaters, and scooter riders ages fifteen (15) and younger. -- Any person fifteen (15) years of age or younger who is operating or who is a passenger on a bicycle or who is using or operating a skateboard, rollerskates, scooter or inline skates on a public highway, bicycle path, shared use path, park and/or recreational area, school property or on any other public right-of-way shall wear a helmet. This helmet shall fit the person's head, shall be secured to the person's head by straps while the bicycle, skateboard, scooter, rollerskates or inline skates are is being operated, and shall meet the standards for helmets established by the Snell Memorial Foundation's 1984 Standard for Use in Bicycling or subsequent standards, or standards established by the American society for testing and materials (ASTM) or subsequent standards, or standards established by the United States consumer product safety commission (CPSC) or subsequent standards. In no event shall failure to wear a helmet be considered as contributory or comparative negligence, nor shall the failure to wear a helmet be admissible as evidence in the trial of any civil action.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2002.