Bills aimed at improving slope safety land on Schwarzenegger’s desk |

Bills aimed at improving slope safety land on Schwarzenegger’s desk

SACRAMENTO – California’s ski slopes would boast some of the nation’s toughest safety requirements under two bills heading to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.

The state Senate on Wednesday voted 21-11 to pass SB880, requiring helmets for skiers and snowboarders under 18. Violators could face fines of up to $25. If Schwarzenegger signs the legislation, California’s helmet law would be the country’s most restrictive.

Also on Wednesday, the Assembly approved a companion bill, AB1652, by a 43-19 vote. It would mandate that ski resorts make public reports about all fatal injuries occurring at the resort. It also requires resorts to create and make public annual safety plans, and implement better signage warning of boundaries and other dangers.

Supporters say the bills will prevent unnecessary tragedies on the slopes. Opponents say both bills are an example of “nanny government” and that places a huge burden on resort operators.

The governor must sign or veto both bills by Sept. 30.

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