Arnie says no to helmet law

26th September 2010, by Chris Gill

A proposed new ski helmet law in California has failed because Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger did not sign all parts of the bill.

It was a ‘yes’ but ‘no’ conclusion to the legislation, which would have required all skiers and boarders under 18 years old to wear a helmet at California’s resorts. But while Schwarzenegger signed the helmet bill on Friday 24 September, he refused to sign the part requiring resorts to prepare annual safety plans.

The Senate Bill 880 was dependent upon the safety rules outlined in the second bill – and which had caused fierce debate in California. While there was strong support for helmets to be made compulsory for children,  there was opposition from many people fearing a ‘nanny state’ direction.

In his messages of support and veto to the bill, Schwarzenegger wrote:  ‘This measure would help prevent avoidable injuries to children.’  But referring to the second bill added, ‘It may place an unnecessary burden on resorts, without assurance of a significant reduction in injuries and fatalities. Consequently, while I am signing this bill to demonstrate my support for this measure, I recognize that it will not take effect.’

In response to the outcome Sen. Leland Yee, who put forward the helmet bill, may re-introduce the main bill next year as a stand-alone item.

What do you think ? We have a helmet thread on our forum, should you wish to add your views to the latest arguments. It seems that the US is divided at present: several states have introduced partial laws, such as staff required to wear helmets (while at work) in some Colorado resorts. Helmets for kids under 14 years old have been long compulsory in areas of Europe (Italy for example), should the age limit be raised?


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