NJ First In Nation To Pass Helmet Law

This month, New Jersey made history by passing a law, which requires those under 18 to wear helmets when engaged in skiing or snowboarding.

Thousands of people hurt themselves skiing and snowboarding in New Jersey every year.  According to research, helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by up to 33 percent.

The law targets minors only, particularly because they are the segment of the population most likely to incur sports injuries.  Minors engaged in snowboarding and skiing engage in more reckless behavior than those who are of age when doing the same activity.  When the injuries do occur, they can have life-altering or even life-ending consequences.

If a child is found without a helmet while engaging in either activity, their parents may be fined $25.  For subsequent infractions, fines will be around $100.

In the state, it is already against the law to ride on a motorcycle without a helmet, but the fine is not to exceed $25, and covers people of all ages.  When riding a bicycle, those under 17 are required to ride with a helmet.

Although New Jersey is the first state in the nation to pass a helmet law for skiers and snowboarders, there are several states that are trying to implement similar laws.  In New York, a bill has been proposed that would require skiers and snowboarders under the age of 14 to wear a helmet, and attempt to impose a fine of $50.

A decade ago, very few people wore helmets on the slopes.  Now, 87 percent of those under the age of 9 reportedly wear helmets, and half of all skiers overall.  However, the rise in helmet use has not reduced the number of deaths associated with the sports, which has remained at 40 annually for 20 years.

This information is not intended to be legal advice.

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