Ski helmets are set to become mandatory in Austria’s coming winter season, the chancellor’s office said Tuesday, a development triggered by an accident involving a German politician early this year.
Children up to the age of 15 are to be affected, with their parents responsible for complying with the new rule. Adults will continue to be able to make their own decision about their safety on the slopes.
It was not immediately clear whether there would be sanctions for not wearing the protective gear. An official in Lower Austria said there would be no penalties in his province. After German state premier Dieter Althaus was seriously injured in January in a collision with a Slovakia-born woman, the question of skiing helmets entered the public spotlight.
While the premier of Thuringia wore a helmet and survived the accident with a serious head injury, the woman did not wear a helmet and died. See Fatal Austrian Ski Accident Reignites Helmet Debate.
Italy has already introduced mandatory ski helmets for children and a fine of up to 150 euros (215 dollars) for not obeying the rule.