Snowsport Helmets Mandatory as of Nov. 1

Health and Wellness

November 1, 2012 10:42 AM

Nova Scotians who take to the slopes will be better protected as the mandatory, all-ages snow sport helmet legislation comes into effect today, Nov. 1.

"Many Nova Scotians enjoy skiing and snowboarding as a way to stay active during the winter months," said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. "Wearing a helmet reduces the chances of a serious brain injury, and helps ensure these sports are enjoyed safely."

There have been 11 severe traumatic brain injuries since 2000 attributed to Nova Scotians skiing or snowboarding without a helmet. The first all-ages snow sport helmet law in the world, makes ASTM, Snell, CSA and CEN the only standards of helmet to be worn on Nova Scotia's ski hills.

Dr. David Clarke, interim head of neurosurgery at the QEII, has seen first-hand the devastating effect a brain injury has on a person.

"The leading cause of death among skiers and snowboarders is brain injuries, but the risk of injury can be reduced by 60 per cent just by wearing a helmet," said Dr. Clarke. "We know that these injuries have tragic human and economic costs for patients, families and society at large. This law is good news, and will ensure that those on the slopes are better protected while enjoying skiing and snowboarding."

Ski hill users age 16 or older are responsible to ensure they are wearing an approved helmet. Parents or guardians are responsible for those younger than 16.

Ski hill operators must display signs and inspectors will enforce the legislation. Those caught without an approved helmet can face a minimum fine of $250.

For more information visit www.helmetmatch.com/.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     A new law comes into effect today (November 1st) that

requires all skiers and snowboarders on Nova Scotia's ski hills

to wear a helmet.

     The first all-ages mandatory snow sport helmet law in the

world states that only A-S-T-M, Snell, C-S-A or C-E-N approved

helmets can be worn.

     Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson says wearing a

helmet can reduce the risk of injury and save lives.

     People age 16 or older are responsible for wearing an

approved helmet, parents are responsible for those younger than

16. Those caught can face a minimum fine of 250-dollars.

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Media Contact: Tony Kiritsis
              Health and Wellness
              902-424-0585
              E-mail: tony.kritsis@gov.ns.ca