Relates to the duties of skiers and ski area operators regarding the use of helmets; requires skiers under age 14 to wear helmets; requires ski area operators to maintain an adequate supply of helmets for sale and rental; requires operators to post signs.
Ayes (30): DeFrancisco, Johnson, Alesi, Bonacic, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Golden, Hannon, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Little, Marcellino, Nozzolio, Robach, Seward, Young, Krueger, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Gianaris, Montgomery, Peralta, Perkins, Rivera, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (3): Saland, Kruger, Parker
Excused (1): Oppenheimer
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the duties of skiers and ski area operators
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require that all skiers under fourteen years of age must wear a helmet while skiing at New York ski areas.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section One of this bill would amend Subdivisions 13 and 14 of section 18-105 of the general obligations law, as added by chapter 711 of the laws of 1988, and would add a new subdivision 15 to require that all skiers under fourteen years of age have the responsibility to wear a helmet suitable for use while skiing.
Section Two of this bill would add a new section 18-106-a to the general obligations law to provide that local law enforcement will have the responsibility of enforcing these new ski helmet requirements.
Section Three of this bill would add three new subdivisions 15, 16 and 17 to Section 18-103 to the general obligations law to provide for the posting of signs advising customers of the availability of helmets for rent or for sale at the ski area and to provide for a reasonable inventory of helmets for rent and for sale. Furthermore, it requires that the phrase "New York State Law prohibits children under fourteen years of age from skiing/snowboarding without a helmet." be published on all lift tickets.
Section four of this bill provides for the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: At the request of the Ski Areas of New York, Inc., this legislation is modeled after the New York State Bicycle Helmet Law to provide for the use of helmets for all skiers under the age of fourteen who ski at New York ski areas. This bill would require that all skiers under the age of fourteen wear protective helmets that are fastened securely to their head with straps securely fastened. It will be the responsibility of local law enforcement to enforce this new helmet requirement. Ski area operators will be required to post signage at locations where ski tickets are sold advising customers of this new law as well as the availability of helmets for rent and for sale at the ski facility. The Ski Areas of New York, Inc. encourage and promote the use of helmets by their skiers, and this legislation will now require that those skiers under the age of fourteen will now have to wear a protective helmet similar to what is required under the New York State Bicycle Helmet Law.
While statistics support the fact that skiing is a relatively safe sport with 2.6 injuries per 1,000 skier visits, head injuries do occur with some frequency and make up approximately 14% of all injuries suffered. The New York State Ski Industry has been proactive
regarding helmet use by children. They provide helmets for rent and for sale at their resorts. They also educate their consumers on the benefits of helmet use; resort signage and education programs such as WWW.LIDSONKIDS.COM are examples.
Based upon their commitment to safety and helmet design advances, the New York State Ski Industry (consistent with previous skier responsibility laws Industrial Code article 18) is willing to support certain helmet related obligations such as mandatory sign age, inventory and education regarding helmet use by children. Child ski helmet use and awareness is growing. By enacting this law, more children will wear helmets while skiing which in turn will reduce the number of head injuries suffered while skiing in New York State. Given the success of the New York State Bicycle Helmet law, the Ski Areas of New York, Incorporated supports legislation which extends this law to the sport of down-hill skiing.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: A.1453-B - Advanced to Third Reading
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day; provided however that section three of this act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4356 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 31, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. LITTLE, DeFRANCISCO, FARLEY, FUSCHILLO, SEWARD, VALESKY, YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the duties of skiers and ski area operators THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 13 and 14 of section 18-105 of the general obligations law, as added by chapter 711 of the laws of 1988, are amended and a new subdivision 15 is added to read as follows: 13. To report any personal injury to the ski area operator before leaving the ski area;
[and]14. Not to willfully remove, deface, alter or otherwise damage signage, warning devices or implements, or other safety devices placed and maintained by the ski area operator pursuant to the requirements of section 18-103 of this article [.]; AND 15. ALL SKIERS, UNDER FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE, SHALL HAVE THE ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO WEAR A HELMET SUITABLE FOR USE WHILE SKIING. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION WEARING OF A HELMET MEANS A HELMET OF GOOD FIT FASTENED SECURELY TO THE HEAD OF THE WEARER WITH STRAPS SECURELY FASTENED. S 2. The general obligations law is amended by adding a new section 18-106-a to read as follows: S 18-106-A. ENFORCEMENT OF SKI HELMET REQUIREMENTS. 1. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION FIFTEEN OF SECTION 18-105 OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL PAY A CIVIL FINE NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY DOLLARS. A COURT SHALL WAIVE SUCH FINE IF SUCH PERSON SUPPLIES THE COURT WITH PROOF THAT BETWEEN THE DATE OF THE VIOLATION AND THE APPEARANCE DATE FOR SUCH VIOLATION SUCH PERSON PURCHASED OR RENTED A HELMET. 2. LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SHALL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION FIFTEEN OF SECTION 18-105 OF THIS ARTICLE. AEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03586-04-1 S. 4356 2
POLICE OFFICER SHALL ONLY ISSUE A SUMMONS FOR A VIOLATION OF SUCH SUBDI- VISION BY A PERSON UNDER FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE TO THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF SUCH PERSON IF THE VIOLATION BY SUCH PERSON OCCURS IN THE PRESENCE OF SUCH PERSON'S PARENT OR GUARDIAN AND WHERE SUCH PARENT OR GUARDIAN IS EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. SUCH SUMMONS SHALL ONLY BE ISSUED TO SUCH PARENT OR GUARDIAN, AND SHALL NOT BE ISSUED TO THE PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF FOURTEEN. S 3. Section 18-103 of the general obligations law is amended by adding three new subdivisions 15, 16 and 17 to read as follows: 15. (A) TO POST SIGNS AT THE CENTRAL LOCATION INFORMATION BOARD AT THE SKI AREA AND AT ALL ON SITE LOCATIONS WHERE TICKETS ARE SOLD THAT ADVISES CUSTOMERS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF HELMETS FOR SALE AND FOR RENT AT THE SKI AREA; AND (B) TO POST SIGNS AT THE CENTRAL LOCATION INFORMATION BOARD AT THE SKI AREA AND AT ALL ON SITE LOCATIONS WHERE TICKETS ARE SOLD THAT ADVISES CUSTOMERS OF THEIR OBLIGATIONS UNDER SECTION 18-105 OF THIS ARTICLE. 16. TO MAINTAIN A REASONABLE INVENTORY OF HELMETS FOR RENT AND FOR SALE. SUCH HELMETS SHALL MEET THE STANDARDS AND CRITERIA SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION FIFTEEN OF SECTION 18-105 OF THIS ARTICLE. 17. TO PUBLISH ON ALL LIFT TICKETS THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE: "NEW YORK STATE LAW PROHIBITS CHILDREN UNDER FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE FROM SKIING/SNOWBOARDING WITHOUT A HELMET." S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided however that section three of this act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law.