A Brooklyn assemblyman wants ski helmets to be mandatory. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz makes no apology for wanting to require the protective headgear at ski areas.
Those who favor mandatory ski helmets in New York argue it will reduce the number and severity of head injuries. Those against the law include the president of Ski Areas of New York who says the accident rate is below 2.6 per thousand visits that Ortiz claims.
The Democratic assemblyman has never skied, but believes very strongly everyone who does should wear a helmet. The helmet law would provide a $1,500 fine to the ski area for each customer without protective headgear and a $500 fine against the individual. Ortiz says the law would be enforced by officers with the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The ski area president argues requiring mandatory helmets places a financial and regulatory burden on ski areas. The mandatory helmet bill has been pending in the Legislature in previous years without passing. Ortiz was not making any predictions of better success this year.