News release

Safety Helmets Now Required Equipment

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Safety Helmets Now Required Equipment


As of May 1, anyone using in-line skates, scooters and skateboards must wear a safety helmet. The province is also updating the bicycle and motorcycle helmets regulations to reflect current international standards.

"Safety helmets are an effective way for people who use bicycles, motorcycles, skateboards, in-line skates and scooters to minimize their risk of injury," said Peter Christie, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "Head injuries can cause long-term disabilities, sometimes life-long impairments."

The penalty for not wearing a helmet is $25, although the government has established a grace period, until July 1, to allow people enough time to purchase helmets to wear while using in- line skates, scooters and skateboards. After that date, police will issue tickets to people who use these devices without wearing a helmet. There is no grace period for bicycle and motorcycle helmets.

"Anyone who already has a bicycle and motorcycle helmet that is certified by organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association or the Snell Foundation does not need to buy a new helmet," said driver and vehicle safety director Paul Arsenault.

He said many manufacturers recommend that a safety helmet be replaced after an incident that might compromise its protective value.

"It's important to note that the new regulations apply to normal use. For example, a helmet used while riding a skateboard on a sidewalk is not safe for stunt competitions," said Mr. Arsenault.

Under the regulation, parents and legal guardians may not knowingly allow children to use a bicycle, in-line skates, a scooter or a skateboard without a helmet. Adults should set an example for children and youth by wearing helmets themselves.

"This regulation does two things. It establishes the rules requiring people to wear helmets when they use these recreational devices, while updating and consolidating all helmet regulations. This will reduce red tape and bureaucracy," said Mr. Christie.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Anyone who rides a scooter or skateboard or who uses in-line skates will need to wear a helmet, starting on May 1st.

The government is also updating its regulations regarding bicycle and motorcycle helmets but people do not need to replace existing helmets.

The fine for not wearing a helmet is 25 dollars.

Warnings will be given to in-line skate, scooter and skateboard users until July first. There is no grace period for bicycle or motorcycle riders.

-30-

Contact:

Kevin Finch
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-2733 E-Mail: