Calif. ski resort, helmet bills at a glance

A bill introduced in the California Assembly is intended to increase safety for skiers and snowboarders and would give the state the most far-reaching ski resort regulations in the nation.

Here are some of the requirements skiers, snowboarders and resorts would face under AB1625 by Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento:

Helmets: Every skier or snowboarder under age 18 would be required to wear a helmet while on the slopes.

Enforcement: Ski resorts would have to enforce the helmet rules and revoke the tickets of those who do not comply. A similar bill introduced in the state Senate by Democrat Leland Yee of San Francisco would make parents, not resorts, responsible for ensuring their children comply with the law. Under Yee's bill, parents would face a fine of up to $25 if their children did not wear a helmet.

Employees: All resort employees would be required to wear a helmet while skiing or snowboarding on the job.

Reporting: Resorts would track and report all injuries and deaths of which they were aware. Only accidents that occur within their boundaries would apply. The information would have to be made available to the public or state agencies. The monthly report would specify how many injured customers were airlifted to a hospital, treated at a local medical facility or not treated but advised to seek care. The report would have to include the location of the injury on the body and the conditions at the resort at the time, such as wind or snow.

Signs: California ski resorts would adopt standardized signs to label a slope's difficulty level, warn skiers about potential dangers and identify the ski-area boundaries.

Safety plans: Ski resorts would be required to prepare an annual safety plan describing the signs used to mark the resort boundary and the resort's procedures for marking trail hazards such as rocks or using padding on other obstructions. The report would be available to the public upon request.

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