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If you're gearing up for the New Jersey ski season, be aware that the state's new ski helmet law has gone into effect.
New Jersey's ski helmet law requires all minors to wear helmets while downhill skiing or snowboarding, and while on ski tows, lifts and tramways. Adults -- parents, guardians and persons in a supervisory position -- will face a $25 fine should a child under their care be caught without a helmet.
Additional offenses will cost $100 apiece.
New Jersey is the first in the nation to mandate ski helmets for minors, according to the New Jersey Herald. California's legislature passed such a law last year, but Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it in September. He cited parental rights as a major concern.
Though there are relatively few serious injuries on the slopes, studies show that helmets can reduce head injuries by 30% to 50%. Such numbers usually apply to less series injuries, such as bruising and mild concussions, according to an expert in ski injuries.
Still, those injuries can be costly, which is another reason to wear a ski helmet. If a ski resort is liable for an injury, helmet usage will factor into the victim's compensation. The victim may not be able to recover as much for injuries that would have been prevented by a helmet.
It's called contributory negligence.
It would thus probably be a good idea for adults and children everywhere to wear helmets even though they are not covered by New Jersey's ski helmet law.