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City Councillor wants helmets on skateboarders

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A City Councillor in Grande Prairie is hoping to one day see all kids riding with a helmet, including skateboarders. Kevin McLean says in the past that he has declined some skateboard parks. He explains that the reason for that is the lack of a bylaw for mandatory helmets for children boarding in the city.

“The bikers use the parks as well. They are all wearing helmets but the majority of the kids riding skateboards aren’t. If you fall on concrete with your head, that isn’t a good combination.”

As other provinces have laws for skateboarding with helmets, McLean is hoping to get Alberta on board. This would be for kids 18 years old or younger. He says the first step is getting a bylaw for Grande Prairie.

Enforcement Services Manager Chris Manuel says at the skateboard parks in the city at the Eastlink Centre and Muskoseepi Park there are signs for kids to put on their helmet while playing at the facility.

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“There is rules posted. They have to be wearing helmets. Otherwise, the bylaw applies to bicycles and kids not wearing helmets under 18. When an officer comes across them, it is usually about education.”

Manuel adds that there are programs available to help out children that do not have the means to get a helmet. Under provincial law if a child is under 18 without one while with a parent, Manuel explains that they can hand out fines of up to $93.

McLean has asked that information be sent from the city of Grande Prairie to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association in hopes to prompt the change across the province.

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