Back in April, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law requiring all youths under age 18 to wear a helmet while skiing or riding at the state's ski areas. As of this month the new law has taken effect and those who fail to wear helmets this season could face a $25 fine for the first violation and $100 fines for any subsequent offenses.
New Jersey is the first state in the country to pass the statewide helmet requirement. While enforcement lies in the hands of parents and guardians, officials at Mountain Creek, Campgaw and Hidden Valley Club will undoubtedly be increasing their watch for misbegotten melons.
These days the helmet battle is one that has the majority on its side. They're lighter, more comfortable and just plain cooler than ever before. A recent study by the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) found that 74 percent of children 17 and younger are wearing helmets and some 60 percent of all skiers and riders are wearing them.
In all reality, the largest complaints will come from those teens whose egos, or hair-dos for that matter, can't find a helmet to fit into. But unless they want to keep forking their allowance over to the state, the law should see little resistance and it likely won't be long before other states follow suit.
Still need convincing? Take pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce's story as proof that they work.
Pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce talks with kids at High Cascade about the importance of wearing a helmet. Video Courtesy of REDprotectionVT, YouTube.