Governator vetoes safety bill

This past Friday Governor Schwarzenegger passed bill 880 that requires skiers and boarders under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the bill had a little companion, Assembly Bill 1652 that would mandate that resorts implement new safety standards. This little companion was vetoed and thus, the helmet bill won’t become law either. This would have become the strictest ski safety law in the country.

“Many California ski resorts are located on U.S. Forest Service land, and are already required to compile and file safety and accident reports with USFS as well as maintain some of this information in the resort management office,” Schwarzenegger wrote in a statement. “Ski resorts in California also already mark their ski area boundaries and trails with appropriate information. This bill may place an unnecessary burden on resorts, without assurance of a significant reduction in ski and snowboard-related injuries and fatalities.”

Senator Leland Yee, a co-author of the bills, will supposedly reintroduce the helmet law again next year as a standalone measure.

Would a helmet law really decrease the number of injuries? Who knows. I know a lot of people would feel safer/better with the helmet law in place, but it still requires riders to be safe and pay attention. Take note of the resort signage and look out for those below you. For this season, helmets remain riders choice. Enjoy the ride and be safe, with or without a helmet.

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