Sikh motorcyclists in Ontario will no longer be required to wear a helmet.
According to a recent news release, Premier Doug Ford and Prabmeet Sarkaria, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, announced today, Oct. 10, that the Ontario government is making moves to give the Sikh community an exemption to wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
“We promised to establish a helmet exemption for Sikh motorcyclists,” Premier Ford said in a recent news release.
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“Today we are taking action to fulfill that promise. We listened to the Sikh community and we intend to exempt them from the requirement to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.”
Last week, MPP Sarkaria suggested Bill 41, the Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Helmet Exemption for Sikh Motorcyclists), 2018 which would allow the same exemption in recognition of Sikh motorcycle riders’ civil rights and religious expression.
“I have been calling for a helmet exemption for turbaned Ontario Sikh motorcyclists for several years now,” MPP Sarkaria said in a recent news release.
“The wearing of the turban is an essential part of the Sikh faith and identity, and exemptions for Sikhs have been successfully implemented in other provinces in Canada and across the world.”
Other Canadian provinces and countries with a helmet exemption already in place include:
- British Columbia (1999), Manitoba (2000) and Alberta (2018).
- The United Kingdom (1976)
The news release concluded with Premier Ford:
“The safety of our roads will always remain a priority. But our government also believes that individuals have personal accountability and responsibility with respect to their own well-being.”
Photo is courtesy of the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario Facebook page.