Ortiz Continues to Push for the Mandatory Use of Ski Helmets

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz was saddened to learn of the ski accident death of a Long Island teen
January 18, 2011
Albany – Assemblyman Ortiz has reintroduced a piece of legislation (A1059) which would require skiers to wear protective helmets when skiing in New York State. This bill also requires ski resorts to make helmets available for rental and purchase as well as educational information regarding ski accident injury.

This weekend’s death at Windham Mountain has renewed the Assemblyman’s conviction that the need for this legislation is vital. “This young woman’s death is one of many that could have been prevented by the use of a protective helmet. Her unfortunate death is a tragedy that should have never occurred. I am hopeful that my bill, A.1059, will pass during this 2011 legislative session,” stated Ortiz.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. Of that estimate U.S. emergency departments treat approximately 135,000 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children ages 5 to 18. Downhill skiing without a protective helmet is one contributing factor among these accidents. According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), on the average during the past 10 years, 39.8 people per year died as a result of skiing or snowboarding. Further, the most serious ski injuries are caused by collisions involving the head. Because of the dangers involved in this high-speed activity, it is vital that skiers of all ages and skill levels be made aware of the risks involved and be equipped with the proper safety equipment. “The objective of this legislation is to promote safety and protect lives,” said Ortiz.