The weather is better, and kids are getting outside more to enjoy the sunshine (when we have it!) Activities like cycling, skateboarding, scootering, and in-line or roller skating, are great fun and good exercise, but they can also lead to serious injuries. Parents need to make sure kids are playing safely – with proper supervision and appropriate safety gear, including helmets.
Under Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act it is mandatory for folks of all ages to wear a helmet while cycling, skateboarding, scootering, in-line or roller skating. Failing to wear a helmet risks a fine of $151.25 for a first offence. Parents also risk fines if they let their children under 16 do these sports without a helmet. In addition to giving you a ticket if you aren’t wearing a helmet, police have the power to seize your bike, skateboard, scooter, in-line skates or roller skates, and keep them for up to 30 days.
Helmets must have an approved standards label - click here for information about the label to look for the type of helmet you need. The helmet must fit properly, and the chin-strap must be securely fastened. People who can’t wear a helmet for medical or religious reasons may apply to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for a certificate exempting them from the requirement to wear one, and should be able to produce the certificate if stopped by police.
For more information:
- Child Safety Link - Helmets & Brain Injury: childsafetylink.ca
- Canada Safety Council - Helmets: canadasafetycouncil.org
- Insurance Bureau of Canada, helmet safety: ibc.ca/en/in_the_community/injury_prevention/helmet_safety.asp
- Parachute Canada (a charity focusing on injury prevention): parachutecanada.org/