News Release Archive

Wearing a bicycle helmet will soon be the law in Nova Scotia.

"A bicycle helmet is a sensible precaution to avoid injury," said
Health Minister Jim Smith. "It is important that all cyclists
wear a helmet every time they get on a bicycle."

Regulations to support the law come into effect on July 1, when
the law becomes official. Advertisements will run in newspapers
provincewide to help inform the public about the new law.

The regulations state that a bicycle helmet must meet standard
safety specifications, have a smooth outer surface, be able to
absorb energy on impact, fit properly, be strongly attached to a
chin strap and not be damaged from use.

Only religious practices, a head measuring more than 64
centimetres in circumference, or medical reasons can exempt
someone from the bicycle helmet law. Medical reasons must be
substantiated by a valid certificate issued by the Registry of
Motor Vehicles on the recommendation of a doctor. An exemption
because of religious practices must also be substantiated by a
valid certificate issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

When the law is enforced, there is a minimum $25 fine for any
adult who doesn't wear a helmet, or for parents who authorize or
knowingly permit their children to ride without helmets. Children
riding in a trailer towed by a bicycle must also wear helmets.

"Last year there were 200 children admitted to the IWK-Grace
Health Centre's children's emergency due to bicycle injuries,"
said Ruby Blois, director partnership development, IWK-Grace. "We
are strong advocates for the enforcement of this law because we
are confident it will reduce unnecessary injuries for children
and adults."

Studies have shown that wearing a bicycle helmet can prevent
injury and death.


NOTE TO EDITORS: Information on Bicycle Helmet Regulations may be
obtained by calling 902-424-4492.

Contact: Lori MacLean
         Department of Health

trp                     June 11, 1997 - 1:10 p.m.