Calif. Mulls Tough Helmet Law for Skiers, Boarders

Helmets required for anyone under 18, and ski areas would be responsible
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2010 10:15 AM CDT
A snowboarder slides out of control after attempting a jump at the Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in Alpine Meadows, Calif.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Two bills making their way through the California legislature would give the state the strictest US regulations governing helmet use while skiing or snowboarding, and dramatically shift responsibility onto resort operators. The first bill would require anyone under 18 to strap on head protection, and subject parents to a $25 fine if they don’t. That bill has at least middling industry support—apparently because the other bill is so draconian.

The other measure would not only require that all minors wear helmets on the slopes, but puts the onus of compliance on the resort. It mandates that ski areas keep records of every injury and death, and coordinate with other areas to establish best practices. Resorts bristle at the possibility. For one thing, a ski patrol member tells the AP, they aren’t EMS certified. “Actually diagnosing a medical condition doesn’t happen.” And it’s just not a resort’s job, says the director of an industry group. “This is a sport. We’re not Disneyland.”

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