(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(1) Disability and death of children resulting from injuries sustained in bicycling accidents are a serious threat to the public health, welfare and safety of the people of this state, and the prevention of such disability and death is a goal of such people;
(2) Head injuries are the leading cause of disability and death from bicycling accidents; and
(3) The risk of head injury from bicycling accidents is significantly reduced for bicyclists who wear proper protective bicycle helmets; yet helmets are worn by fewer than five percent of child bicyclists nationwide.
(b) The purpose of this article is to reduce the incidence of disability and death resulting from injuries incurred in bicycling accidents by requiring that while riding on a bicycle on public roads, public bicycle paths and other public rights-of-way of this state, all bicycle operators and passengers under fifteen years of age wear approved protective bicycle helmets.