Gov. Brown vetoes California helmet bill, infuriates proponents

California Governor Jerry Brown was expected to be a rubber stamp for a bill that would have made it illegal for kids to ski and snowboard without helmets. He vetoed it instead. SNEWS finds out why.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Gov. Jerry Brown was expected to be a rubber stamp for the helmet bill that hit his desk on Sept. 6, 2011. He was not. 

Instead of endorsing the bill, which would have made it a crime for kids to ski and snowboard without helmets, he vetoed it. He wrote in his short veto message that, “While I appreciate the value of wearing a ski helmet, I am concerned about the continuing and seemingly inexorable transfer of authority from parents to the state. Not every human problem deserves a law. I believe parents have the ability and responsibility to make good choices for their children.”

helmet_poc_090811.jpg

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an identical measure a year ago, but vetoed a companion bill that called for ski resorts to develop and publish safety plans. Both bills were sponsored by State Senator Leland Yee, of San Francisco, who had been confident of Brown’s support. 

“Unfortunately, the Governor ignored the pleas of parents who were asking for this law and for a simple tool to help get their kids to wear helmets on the slopes,” Yee said. “California’s ski slopes are perhaps the last area of recreation where we do not have basic safety standards in place for children.”

Yee wasn’t alone in his disappointment.


“The California Psychological Association is very disappointed that Governor Brown vetoed SB 105,” said Dr. Jo Linder Crow, executive director of the California Psychological Association. “The evidence is clear that the use of helmets can greatly reduce the severity of head injuries resulting in a better recovery process. We are very disappointed that the Governor ignored the widespread support for this legislation would have protected children and saved lives.”


Brown also wrote that he did not want to “impose criminal penalties on a child” or their parents for not wearing a helmet.

 --Peter Kray

Send your WinterSports news to Peter Kray at pkray@snewsnet.com. Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at snewsbox@snewsnet.com to learn about posting your own news releases, getting your WinterSports headlines, or with any other questions or comments.

Related

Poc_helmet_081611.jpg

California helmet bill heads to Governor’s desk

The California Legislature have again approved legislation to mandate helmet use for skiers and snowboarders younger than 18. Under SB 105 by Senator Leland Yee, approved Aug. 15, minors would be required to wear helmets while skiing and snowboarding. Once received, Governor ...read more

Helmets_Smith_thumb_051811.jpg

Helmet Nation: California almost sure to pass new mandate

Putting lids on children is already standard fare for U.S. skiers. The National Ski Areas Association recently reported that 91 percent of the kids 9 years old or younger who ski and snowboard are already wearing helmets. But lawmakers from New Jersey to California still seem set ...read more

Helmets_NJ_thumb_042711.jpg

Manufacturers critical of New Jersey ski helmet mandate

The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey may be applauding the Legislature’s decision to create a law that mandates helmet use for skiers and snowboarders under the age of 18, but it’s got many snowsports helmet manufacturers up in arms against it. “I’d say this is a lot of the ...read more

Helmet_NSAA_thumb_050311.jpg

NSAA: Majority of skiers already wear helmets

According to findings of the 2011 NSAA National Demographic Study, 60 percent of skiers and snowboarders now wear helmets at U.S. ski areas, up from 56 percent during the 2010 season. Helmet usage among those interviewed nationwide has increased 140 percent since the 2003 season, ...read more

Wilderness bill roils California mountain bikers

The first 10 years must have been great. After mountain biking was born in the '70s, riders freely roamed wilderness areas for nearly a decade. But in 1984, the Forest Service changed the code of regulations for designated wilderness, banning "mechanical" devices, including ...read more

Youth_helmet_020211.jpg

Helmet legislation lowers the boom on brain buckets

Mandatory helmet-use legislation is making headlines from California to New Jersey and New York. But the repercussions of these pending rules are leaving many in the industry scratching their heads. “The manpower involved in enforcement is the key stumbling block,” Giro director ...read more

Snowbird_thumb_032311.jpg

Resort Report: Helmet legislation, upstate expansion, McConkey & more

Illinois, a state with only four ski areas, defeated a measure to make helmet use mandatory on the slopes on March 15, 2011. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Ira Silverstein, who admitted that he has never skied before, said he thought making Illinois the first state in the country ...read more

Reese_SIA_102511.jpg

SNEWS Q&A: On the hill with SIA Nordic Director Reese Brown

Reese Brown was hired in spring 2011 as SnowSports Industries America’s Nordic Director, a new position within SIA to help increase the Nordic market. Reese has been managing SIA’s annual Winter Trails since 2001 and also manages several promotional marketing campaigns, ski and ...read more

SIA Trends Report: Helmets

Lighter and more streamlined than their predecessors, "in-mold" helmets are quickly taking over the alpine, tele and snowboard markets. Constructed with lightweight foam such as polystyrene, in-mold designs still offer the requisite protection without making you look like Dark ...read more