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Further calls for helmets to be compulsory
Saturday October 10, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

This time they come from a Canadian coroner at an inquest into the death of a snowboarder. What is your view?

The accident happened on Grouse Mountain in 2013.

A 16-year old, Luca Cesar, fell on rocks by the Heaven's Sake run and died form his injuries.

The court heard that there was no conclusive evidence a helmet would have made a difference in the accident.

"Though it remains unclear if the use of a helmet may have prevented life-threatening traumatic brain injury in Luca's case, it is clear that traumatic brain injuries continue to pose a significant risk to skiers and snowboarders," said a British Columbia Coroner, Timothy Wiles.

He went on to call for Provinces to consider making the wearing of helmets compulsory.

"There is a clear assertion from experts specialising in trauma medicine that the use of a helmet may significantly reduce injury and mortality and that the legislated use of helmets should be strongly considered," Timothy Wiles added

Last month we reported on PlanetSKI of an area in Canada that is making it compulsory next winter.

It follows a similar rule in Nova Scotia that we reported on in 2013.

However some in Canada believe education is the key factor, not compulsion.

Luca Cesar was on an intermediate run even though he was a novice.

"We don't support mandatory ski helmet legislation. We promote an education based approach and have been pursuing that strategy for many years with considerable sucesss," said the President of the Canada west Ski Area Association, David Lynn, to CBC News.

"There's a number of challenges associated with ski helmet legislation, including the cost and resources associated with developing and enforcing that legislation," he added. 

In Canada helmet use is already up to 83%.

Here at PlanetSKI we have questioned the exact protection that wearing a helmet offers - good for low speed impacts and glancing blows, but perhaps of limited value in high-speed crashes.

See here for our report from James Timothy.

If you have a view on whether helmets should be compulsory then feel free to comment over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

At the moment there is compulsion for children to wear helmets in some areas in the Alps but there are no plans for a widespread enforcement of wearing a helmet.

Some UK operators now including helmet hire as a matter of course in all ski and snowboard hire packages for children.

"Mountain safety is really important to us here at Neilson and there have been too many tragic accidents, particularly involving kids. We include helmet hire in the cost of children's rental equipment across virtually all of our resorts to make sure our smallest guests are safer on the slopes," said Paul Deadman from the Uk operator, Neilson.

"Remember kids, ruin your hairstyle, not your holiday," added Paul.

For the spirit of the mountains

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