Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Turban-wearing Sikhs riding motorbikes in Ontario must wear helmets

TORONTO -- Ontario won't allow turban-wearing Sikhs to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet, a decision the Canadian Sikh Association called "deeply" disappointing.
Premier Kathleen Wynne wrote to the organization last week, saying she had struggled with striking the right balance between public safety and religious accommodation.
"After careful deliberation, we have determined that we will not grant this type of exemption as it would pose a road safety risk," she wrote in the Aug. 14 letter.
"Ultimately, the safety of Ontarians is my utmost priority, and I cannot justify setting that concern aside on this issue."
The mandatory helmet law is based on extensive research that shows the high risk of injury and death for motorcyclists who ride without a helmet, she added. Mortality rates have gone down 30 per cent and head injury rates down 75 per cent in jurisdictions with such laws.
Courts have also found that Ontario's law doesn't infringe on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the Ontario Human Rights Code, she said.
The association has been a strong advocate for an exemption and presented "compelling arguments," Wynne wrote.

with thanks : ctvnews : link : for detailed news.

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