Helmet Law Upheld in Ontario

Joe Magro
by Joe Magro

Sikh challenge comes up short

A Sikh in Ontario, Canada, has lost his challenge to the $110 ticket he received back in September 2005 for not wearing a helmet while riding his Honda Shadow. Baljinder Badesha, 39, claims the Ontario helmet law is “100 per cent” discrimination no matter what the safety issues are when riding without a helmet.

We cannot put anything over the turban, it is against our religion. Mr. Badesha said outside court.

British Columbia and Manitoba, are two provinces in Canada that do allow devout Sikh’s to be exempt from their helmet laws, Badesha along with his supporters vow to lobby the government for the same treatment. Justice James Blacklock, who ruled on the case, said that Ontario is not compelled to follow suit with the other provinces. Blacklock, also wrote that the province has a “legitimate state interest” in avoiding the “extra significant expense” associated with motorcycle accidents under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

There is a clear increase in the risk of devastating brain injury or death with the accompanying burdens on family members and the public in terms of medical needs. Ontario Superior Court Justice James Blacklock ruled.

Mr. Badesha has one month to pay the fine but he does have the option to appeal the decision and will make that decision “very quickly”, his lawyer said.


Joe Magro
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