New Jersey retailers in ski areas are busy stocking up on helmets, all because of a new state law.
The Garden State this spring, in April, became the first state to pass legislation that requires juvenile skiers and snowboarders to wear helmets, beginning this season. Those who are 17 and younger have to wear the safety gear.
The penalities for violation of the new law fall on the parents or guardians of the kids. They will have to pay a $25 fine the first time their child doesn’t wear a helmet while skiing or snowboarding, and $100 for each additional violation, according to The Express-Times.
So right now ski resorts in areas such as Sussex County, N.J., and the stores that surround them, are loading up their inventories of helmets. One shop, Cannonball Winter Sports, has stocked up with 150 helmets, The Express-Times reported.
The ski resort Mountain Creek has quadrupled it stock of rentable helmets since 2009, to 2,000 from 500, according to The Express-Times. The resort rents the helmets at $10 a pop.
Is it worth the trouble? Some research says it is. A study by the University of Calgary found that a helmet cuts the chance of a head injury by about 35 percent for skiers and snowboarders.
The new helmet law is well-intentioned, but appears difficult to enforce, according to The Express-Times. Ski resorts are not empowered to enforce the law, only local police and and New Jersey State troopers are. But when is the last time you saw any of them on a ski slope?