Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Michigan lawmakers push helmet requirement for skiers, snowboarders
Grand Rapids Press ^ | 1/26/08

Posted on 01/26/2008 7:36:44 AM PST by Mr. Brightside

Michigan lawmakers push helmet requirement for skiers, snowboarders

by CLAY TAYLOR | Capital News Service Saturday

January 26, 2008, 9:34 AM

LANSING - Downhill skiers and snowboarders without head protection may find a hefty fine waiting for them at the bottom of the slope.

A new bill by Rep. Bob Constan calling for mandatory helmets comes fast on the heels of a fatal skiing accident in December.

Clare Dougherty, 13, of Canton Township died from a head injury on Shanty Creek Resort's Schuss Mountain in Bellaire. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center on Christmas Day.

Authorities said a helmet could have prevented her death.

"We can't say for sure in any one instance what the outcome would have been, but for certain accidents there is no question it would help," said Jim Austin, the hospital's administrator. "It's just like wearing seat belts. They save lives, just not all lives."

Safety is the bill's primary concern, Constan said.

"We require that people wear helmets in other situations," Constan said. "People knowing that helmets are available is not enough."

Constan said the bill, which has support from the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights Ski Clubs, was inspired by constituents who had family members injured while skiing and snowboarding.

The bill calls for a $100 fine for those caught without helmets, but Constan said that fines would not be strictly enforced.

"I don't want to see someone with a $100 fine who's an experienced skier," Constan said, "but the time has come to encourage people to wear helmets when skiing."

Co-sponsors include Reps. Coleman Young, D-Detroit, and Aldo Vagnozzi, D-Farmington Hills.

Most of Michigan's ski resorts - including Apple Mountain Resort, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands, Crystal Mountain, Nub's Nob Ski Area and Snowsnake Ski and Golf - provide helmets to rent for about $5-$10 a day.

There is industry opposition to the idea.

In a statement, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain said while helmet use is encouraged, "we don't think this new legislation is the way to go. We believe that helmets are a good idea but not necessarily for all skiing and riding situations."

That sentiment was echoed by John Cleary, general manager of Snowsnake in Harrison.

"I think it should be left up to the individual," Cleary said. "We recommend it, but we believe it's a matter of personal preference."

He said most skiers at Snowsnake wear helmets, and anyone participating in freestyle events must wear one.

He said he isn't sure how often Snowsnake's skiers suffer head injuries.

"It's not a real frequent thing," he said. "It's hard to put a number on it."

A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that head injuries account for 14 percent of skiing and snowboarding accidents, as well as 56 percent of related deaths.

No other states have laws that require helmet use, according to the National Ski Areas Association, a trade organization for ski area owners and operators headquartered in Colorado.

The association says that on average 38 people died each year for the past 10 years from skiing or snowboarding accidents. An average of 42 people suffered serious injuries, which includes head injuries.

NSAA President Michael Berry said that it's most important to encourage dialogue about the responsibility of making educated decisions regarding helmet use, rather than making helmet use mandatory.

"You shouldn't put one on and think that's all you need to do," Berry said.

He recommends that skiers wear helmets, but ski as if they're not.

The bill, which would amend a 1962 law that outlines basic skiing regulations, is under review by the House Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources Committee.Authorities said a helmet could have prevented her death.

"We can't say for sure in any one instance what the outcome would have been, but for certain accidents there is no question it would help," said Jim Austin, the hospital's administrator. "It's just like wearing seat belts. They save lives, just not all lives."

Safety is the bill's primary concern, Constan said.

"We require that people wear helmets in other situations," Constan said. "People knowing that helmets are available is not enough."

Constan said the bill, which has support from the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights Ski Clubs, was inspired by constituents who had family members injured while skiing and snowboarding.

The bill calls for a $100 fine for those caught without helmets, but Constan said that fines would not be strictly enforced.

"I don't want to see someone with a $100 fine who's an experienced skier," Constan said, "but the time has come to encourage people to wear helmets when skiing."

Co-sponsors include Reps. Coleman Young, D-Detroit, and Aldo Vagnozzi, D-Farmington Hills.

Most of Michigan's ski resorts - including Apple Mountain Resort, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands, Crystal Mountain, Nub's Nob Ski Area and Snowsnake Ski and Golf - provide helmets to rent for about $5-$10 a day.

There is industry opposition to the idea.

In a statement, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain said while helmet use is encouraged, "we don't think this new legislation is the way to go. We believe that helmets are a good idea but not necessarily for all skiing and riding situations."

That sentiment was echoed by John Cleary, general manager of Snowsnake in Harrison.

"I think it should be left up to the individual," Cleary said. "We recommend it, but we believe it's a matter of personal preference."

He said most skiers at Snowsnake wear helmets, and anyone participating in freestyle events must wear one.

He said he isn't sure how often Snowsnake's skiers suffer head injuries.

"It's not a real frequent thing," he said. "It's hard to put a number on it."

A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that head injuries account for 14 percent of skiing and snowboarding accidents, as well as 56 percent of related deaths.

No other states have laws that require helmet use, according to the National Ski Areas Association, a trade organization for ski area owners and operators headquartered in Colorado.

The association says that on average 38 people died each year for the past 10 years from skiing or snowboarding accidents. An average of 42 people suffered serious injuries, which includes head injuries.

NSAA President Michael Berry said that it's most important to encourage dialogue about the responsibility of making educated decisions regarding helmet use, rather than making helmet use mandatory.

"You shouldn't put one on and think that's all you need to do," Berry said.

He recommends that skiers wear helmets, but ski as if they're not.

The bill, which would amend a 1962 law that outlines basic skiing regulations, is under review by the House Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources Committee.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: helmets; nannystate; ski
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-72 last
To: WV Mountain Mama; All

It is not that wearing a helmet is either right or wrong, but a matter of choice & NOT being told to do so by some nannystate legal-winnie!

I make my kids wear a helmet when we go outside and do things like ride our 3 wheelers or ride a bike ect..., but I do not want any legal-winnie telling me to do so!


51 posted on 01/26/2008 11:46:22 AM PST by TMSuchman (American by birth, Rebel by choice, Marine by act of GOD!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Springman; sergeantdave; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; ...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you would like to be added or dropped from the Michigan ping list, please freepmail me.

52 posted on 01/26/2008 12:00:03 PM PST by grellis (Is this the best we've got??!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: xjcsa
I’d like to introduce an amendment to also require helmet use while participating in a session of the Michigan State Legislature.

Sounds like a good idea, since they're already wearing earplugs and blinders. The noise of the overtaxed masses here is preventing them from doing important work, such as figuring out which fees to raise and when to hike the state gas tax.

53 posted on 01/26/2008 12:07:13 PM PST by Kieri (Midwest Snark Claw & Feather Club Founder)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Gabz

From the article:
“A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that head injuries account for 14 percent of skiing and snowboarding accidents, as well as 56 percent of related deaths.”

So......44% of deaths are not related to head injuries, therefore, in Nanny-eze, Skiing should be banned entirely.

Apparently there is no safe level of skiing and even a well ventilated helmet will not protect against skiing injuries.


54 posted on 01/26/2008 12:27:24 PM PST by libertarian27 (Land of the Fee, Home of the Shamed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Brightside
The bill calls for a $100 fine for those caught without helmets, but Constan said that fines would not be strictly enforced.

"I don't want to see someone with a $100 fine who's an experienced skier," Constan said, "but the time has come to encourage people to wear helmets when skiing."

Boy, that's a great example of public policy. Announcing selective enforcement right from the get go. How did this guy ever get elected?

55 posted on 01/26/2008 12:35:00 PM PST by weaponeer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kirkwood

Great. I respond to that the same way I respond to people who praise seat belts and motorcycle helmets: neither is a bad idea, and in fact, may have much to recommend them. But I’m a big boy, and I can decide for myself if I want to do things that are good for me or not. I don’t need the government following me around forcing me to “for my own good.”


56 posted on 01/26/2008 12:46:53 PM PST by IronJack (=)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Hot Tabasco

Then their lawyers will be recommending their death warrant.


57 posted on 01/26/2008 12:47:54 PM PST by IronJack (=)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: petercooper

I never wore a helmet in 35 years of skiing until about 3 years ago. I thought it would be a nuisance, but got used to it after one or two runs. I thinks it’s just common sense today with the modern helmets, but not something to be legislated.


58 posted on 01/26/2008 1:39:45 PM PST by oncebitten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

I spent the week before this skiing at Mont-Tremblant, and I’d say about 90% of the people on the slopes are already wearing helmets. I wasn’t one of them, but I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea.


59 posted on 01/26/2008 1:42:09 PM PST by -YYZ- (Strong like bull, smart like ox.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: -YYZ-

The issue isn’t whether it’s a good idea or not. It’s whether or not the government has the authority to force people to do things for their own good.


60 posted on 01/26/2008 2:53:26 PM PST by IronJack (=)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

The answer to that, obviously, is yes. In effect, anyway. See drug laws, seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws, mandatory insurance laws, and so on. The public will allow any such law to be passed until it gores their ox - and of course it will be too late by then.

And no, I don’t agree with any of the above, or being forced to wear a helmet to ski, snowmobile, ride dirt bikes or ATVs, rock climbing, etc and so on. A wise person would, in many cases, though.


61 posted on 01/26/2008 4:19:13 PM PST by -YYZ- (Strong like bull, smart like ox.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Brightside
Authorities said a helmet could have prevented her death.

Remember, never shower without first putting your helmet on.

62 posted on 01/26/2008 4:33:45 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Brightside
Our rulers consider us to be farm animals.

We must not do anything or be anywhere that might impair our capacity to work and pay taxes so that our rulers can distribute the fruits of our labors to those who do not.

63 posted on 01/26/2008 6:05:58 PM PST by elkfersupper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gabz

It’s a miracle that we all survived so long on this planet skiing and riding bikes without helmets. What would we do without Gubmint.

How do they plan on enforcing this? Taser any kid on a bike without a helmet?


64 posted on 01/26/2008 6:35:57 PM PST by Eric Blair 2084 (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shouldn't be a federal agency...it should be a convenience store.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: paratrooper82

“Can’t wait until they pass a law requiring bulletproof vests for hunting!”

FYI -

A few years back, Rep. Bart Stupak (fascist - MI ) tried to pass federal legislation banning civilians from owning bulletproof vests.

Now your guess is as good as mine why he wanted the ban. I figure that he didn’t want people protected from government thugs shooting civilians.

Stupak is that kind of guy and mostly represents Pelosi’s San Francisco district. Michigan is one messed up state.


65 posted on 01/27/2008 5:44:12 AM PST by sergeantdave (The majority of Michigan voters are that stupid and the condition is incipient and growing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: sergeantdave
WOW! I guess only cops will be able to hunt in Michigan. Bart Stupid gives a whole new meaning to “enjoying the great outdoors.”

Fascist really does explain that p-—k.

66 posted on 01/27/2008 7:59:25 AM PST by paratrooper82 (82 Airborne 1/508th BN "fury from the sky")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: petercooper
wear one all the time!

I have no doubt whatsoever that if the insurance companies and nanny state politicians had their way, we'd all be chained to our beds with an armed guard outside.

67 posted on 01/27/2008 8:02:57 AM PST by Hardastarboard (DemocraticUnderground.com is an internet hate site.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: grellis

Some good news for Michigan for a change...

http://news.aol.com/entertainment/story/ar/_a/miss-michigan-crowned-miss-america/20080126224509990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001


68 posted on 01/27/2008 10:28:10 AM PST by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: grellis; Mr. Brightside

Thanks for the ping, grellis and thanks for the post/thread, Mr. Brightside.

Meddling Michigan lawmakers BUMP!


69 posted on 01/27/2008 10:31:11 AM PST by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Brightside

All the problems in this wretched state, and the Lansing legislators are worried about helmets for skiers?

Does anyone know if this stupid proposal will apply to cross country skiers?


70 posted on 01/27/2008 11:57:19 AM PST by Mad-Margaret (Remember I'm a kook, scammer, or troll the next time you want money.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gabz

Nope, didn’t see this coming did we?

Thanks for the ping.


71 posted on 01/28/2008 6:21:32 AM PST by CSM ("Dogs and beer. Proof that God loves us.- Al Gator (8/24/2007))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: PGalt

Nuts! I just ran the ping on a different thread, didn’t see this one.


72 posted on 01/28/2008 11:17:53 AM PST by grellis (Is this the best we've got??!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 68 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-72 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson