Earlier this month a bill passed through the New York State Senate that would have made it legally mandatory for children at New York ski resorts under the age of 14 to wear a ski helmet. But, as reported by POWDER, it seems that bill will not become law after it failed to move forward in the New York State Assembly on Tuesday.
The Ski Safety Bill, which was sponsored by New York State Senator Betty Little, was modeled after the New York State Bicycle Helmet Law. According to Little, while many of the 4 million annual skiers that visit New York ski resorts already wear helmets, her bill was designed to help parents introducing the sport to new children who might be stubborn and argumentative towards donning a helmet.
As Little saw it, being able to tell kids that they are legally required to wear a helmet would circumvent that conversation for parents.
“This bill actually is modeled after the bicycle helmet bill,” Little told WAMC. “And the idea is really that there is a law that will help parents for kids that don’t want to wear a helmet. And that the ski areas will warn people. They will have signs that this is that [sic] way to ski and is safer. But the onus is really on the parents to make sure that their kids are wearing a ski helmet.”
Unfortunately for Little, the bill didn’t pass, and this wasn’t her first attempt to pass a bill mandating helmets in her state. Still, despite her multiple failures with similar bills, Little and her supporters are adamant on continuing to push the issue on New York lawmakers.
“Liability insurance in the ski industry has been a major issue,” Scott Brandi, President of the Ski Areas of New York, who helped write the bill, told WAMC. “So that’s why we crafted our bill. You know we’d be very happy if the Assembly passed it. We’d embrace it. There are some requirements for the ski industry to post signs, to provide [a certain amount of helmets] for sale and for rent and to educate, things we’re doing already. And there’s requirements on the parents to make sure that their fourteen and under child is wearing a helmet. So we’d be happy if that passed and we’d be happy to put this issue to rest once and for all.”
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