Californiamaysoon become the first state in the country to require children to wearhelmets on the ski slopes.
SB 880requires those under 18 to wear helmets while downhill skiing or snowboarding.Parents would be responsible for following SB 880 and would receive a $25 fineif a child is found to be not wearing a helmet on the slopes. The bill passedthe California Senate in June and is awaiting a vote in the Assembly.
However, SB 880 is tied to another bill, AB1652, which in its current form requires ski resorts to educate theirpatrons about helmet safety, prepare an annual safety plan, and create monthly accidentreports. If one of the bills fails to pass, neither will pass. The bills areexpected to be voted on by August 31, before the Legislature adjourns for theyear.
According to a study by the U.S. Consumer Product SafetyCommission, more than half of all deaths on the ski slopes every year are dueto head injuries. The study found that more than 7,000 head and brain injuriesthat occur on the slopes could be prevented each year with the use of helmets.Currently, the highest percentage of helmet wearers are children. Approximately57 percent of all skiers and snowboarders wear helmets.