If council approves, City Hall in Grande Prairie will take a push for expanded helmets laws to this fall’s Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention.
The city resolution would call on the province to expand mandatory helmet regulations already in place for bicycle riders under 18 to skateboard, scooter and in-line skate users in the same age group.
Councillor Chris Thiessen says this is a matter of safety for youth.
“We have lots of skate parks around. We’re building even more. One thing that Councillor (Kevin) McLean who brought forward the motion noticed was that there was little, if anybody, wearing a helmet on scooters, in-line skates or skateboards, especially in the skate park. We try to deter that with signage, but we thought if we go broad spectrum, we could protect the youth, preserve their brains.”
He is not expecting a lot of negative reaction to this idea.
“If we do get push-back, then that’s part of the territory. There was push -back with bikes back in the day, with bike helmets, some cyclists said ‘Well, why do I have to do that?’ I think, moving forward, you put a helmet on a kid at a very young age, it just becomes a commonplace thing; before they get on anything to ride, they’ll throw their helmet on first.”
Council will discuss this at its next meeting. If approved there, the idea will go to the AUMA convention in October in Edmonton.