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Helmet Law Narrowly Defeated

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Trenton, NJ, Dec. 17, 2001–A proposal to require New Jersey ski areas to provide children under the age of 14 with helmets was narrowly defeated Dec. 13 in the Law and Public Safety Committee of the state Assembly. That defeat came at the eleventh hour and without any of the seven committee members directly voting against it. The bill needed a simple majority to be sent to the Assembly floor and got three yes votes, three abstentions, and one legislator was absent.

Getting the bill passed is the personal quest of Dr. Norman San Agustin, a surgeon whose daughter, Nikki, died of head injuries after a skiing accident at Hidden Valley in 1988. She was 12. After the vote, San Agustin was reportedly upset, but vowed to press for the bill’s reintroduction during the next session of the Assembly. That’s likely to take place toward the end of the winter under a New Jersey government headed by a new governor who will be working with a new Legislature.