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Helmet Law Proposed in California

Helmet Law Proposed in California

[ Wed, 2010-01-20 09:03 ]
Winter Park Ski School Kids With Helmets
A California state senator wants to make helmet use mandatory for kids on slopes. But will it fly?

The helmet debate rages on. A California lawmaker has formally introduced legislation that would require all skiers and snowboarders under the age of 18 to wear helmets on the hill. California already has a bicycle helmet law for children; like that law, the proposed ski helmet law would fine parents $25 for helmetless children. “Despite repeated warnings from public health experts, professional athletes, and ski resorts, each winter brings news of hundreds of unnecessary tragedies for the failure to wear a helmet," said State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) in a press release. The bill will likely be heard in the Senate next month. In related news, over at the New York Times the Freakonomics guys are discussing a recent bike-helmet study that suggests helmet laws actually discourage biking. The study's reasoning? Helmets cost too much, both financially and socially. In other words, helmets are still viewed as uncool. So do similar concerns affect skiers' decisions? (Hey, we lived through skiing's neon era -- surely we can't be that concerned with looking cool.) Once helmets are made mandatory, it reduces the coolness question considerably. If everybody looks like a dork, then ipso facto nobody looks like a dork, no?