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Lawmaker proposes helmets for underage skiers, snowboarders

January 13, 2010 |  2:19 pm

A state legislator wants the law requiring minors to wear helmets when they ride a bicycle to be extended to skiing and snowboarding.

Charges that the proposal is a new step toward "nanny government" were quick to follow.
State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill requiring helmets for underage skiers because of concern about the number of head injuries suffered in the sports. Under the measure, parents could be fined up to $25 for more than one violation.

Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) said he would tend to oppose such a proposal unless strong data showed the problem to be extensive and require government intervention.

"I do worry about what people call 'nanny government'  taking care of everything for people, and this seems like it would fit into that category," Harman said. "You get into the question of just how far government should go in protecting people from themselves.

"Wouldn’t common sense say you should be careful when you are skiing through trees?" he said.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

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