Under 18 In NJ? You May Soon Be Required To Wear A Helmet While Skiing Or Snowboarding

snowboarding.jpg1The Assembly approved a bill today that would make New Jersey the first state in the nation to require helmets for minors while skiing or snowboarding. It is sponsored by Assembly Republicans Anthony Bucco, Scott T. Rumana and Nancy F. Muñoz. Last month, Bucco, R-Morris, began a push for the Assembly to advance the ski helmet legislation, A-3320, which has bipartisan support and has already been approved by the Senate. The Assembly Tourism and Arts Committee then unanimously approved the legislation on Jan. 20 during the National Ski Areas Association’s National Safety Awareness Week, which set up today’s Assembly vote.

“New Jersey is now positioned to lead the nation down the trail toward safer skiing for children,” Bucco said. “Everyone should strap on a helmet before hitting the slopes because medical evidence has clearly demonstrated that this simple act can greatly reduce the threat of serious injury while skiing or snowboarding.”

A recent study by the Morristown Memorial Hospital suggested that helmet use at Mountain Creek and Hidden Valley Club ski resort, in Vernon, lagged behind the national average even though they can prevent up to 50 percent of injuries sustained from crashes at moderate speeds.

A separate study by the ski areas association found that although helmet use has increased among every demographic over the last decade, the 18- to 24-year-old age bracket wears them the least – 43 percent.
“Parents are responsible for keeping their children safe and this will make sure they’re safer when enjoying winter sports,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen and Essex, “This will increase helmet use among children and it may get them to continue wearing them after they become young adults – an age group that has been slow to embrace protective gear.”

The bill would require anyone less than 18-years-old to wear a proper helmet while downhill skiing or snowboarding. Parents, guardians or supervising adults would be responsible for complying with the law.
“Young people wear helmets when they ride bicycles and that safety requirement should remain in place when they’re skiing and snowboarding,” Muñoz, R-Union, Essex, Morris and Somerset, said. “This will make sure parents provide their children a simple safeguard against serious injury on the slopes.”

In August, the Senate approved similar legislation, S-130, sponsored by Republican Sens. Anthony Bucco and Joseph Pennacchio. TLS.

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