No Helmet? That’ll Be $25


Follow this scenario: Your teenager is going snowboarding with his friends. You go through the motions. Do you have your gloves? Check. Goggles? Check. Helmet? You'd better have it.

Under a bill just passed by the Assembly, parents could be fined up to $25 if they fail to outfit their children with helmets on California's ski slopes.

The bill by Democratic State Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco would require helmets for skiers and snowboarders under 18.

The Assembly adopted SB880 Thursday on a 42-20 vote, then returned it to the Senate for a vote on Assembly amendments.

Sure it's safer, will save lives, prevent head injuries, yes, yes, yes. Most parents are all for that. But there are those who will miss the freedom of skiing or snowboarding down the slopes without one. Not to mention, lawmakers are now making sure parents do their jobs. Hold on, do we really want them to do that?

Oh and yes, let's not forget - who is going to play ski helmet police with a crowd of teenagers spread out over a huge snowy mountain? (Keep in mind at Mammoth Mountain alone, there are 3500 acres of skiable area.) It can be difficult just finding your teen at home.

A companion bill introduced in January by Democratic state Assemblyman Dave Jones of Sacramento would have required, among other things, children, as well as ski-resort employees, to wear helmets. However, that language was later stripped out of the bill, which now simply requires resorts to prepare annual safety plans and to make public a monthly report of fatal injuries. Jones' bill, AB1652, is awaiting final legislative action.

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