After months of anticipation, California residents have finally learned the fate of the proposed ski and snowboard helmet laws for minors. On Friday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 880, requiring helmets for skiers and snowboarders younger than 18, but effectively terminated the helmet law after the Governor vetoed a companion bill; Assembly Bill 1652, which would have required ski resorts to prepare annual safety plans, release accident information to the public and increase signage on the slopes.
“Many California ski resorts are located on US Forest Service (USFS) land, and are already required to compile and file safety and accident reports with USFS as well as maintain some of this information in the resort management office. Ski resorts in California also already mark their ski area boundaries and trails with appropriate information,” Schwarzenegger wrote in an accompanying message. “This bill may place an unnecessary burden on resorts, without assurance of a significant reduction in ski and snowboard-related injuries and fatalities.”
“This measure will help prevent avoidable injuries to children while engaging in dangerous activities,” Schwarzenegger wrote in an accompanying message.
“Unfortunately, the Legislature made the enactment of this legislation contingent upon the enactment of Assembly Bill 1652, which I am returning without my signature. Consequently, while I am signing this bill to demonstrate my support for this measure, I recognize that it will not take effect.”