All he really needs is a DOT sticker for his turban. Or maybe a safety pin, if Crown counsel is to be believed.
An Ontario Sikh is fighting the province’s helmet law and a $110 ticket he got two years ago for riding a motorcycle while wearing nothing on his head but the turban that his religion requires. He says he can’t take the turban off for riding, and you can’t fit a helmet over a turban, so if he’s going to ride, it’s going to be without DOT approval.
Baljinder Badesha, 39, is the owner of a used car lot in Brampton, Ont. He learned to ride in India, and got his Ontario bike licence in 2005. He had been riding for just a few weeks, unaware that he was supposed to wear a helmet, when he got the ticket. He hasn’t ridden on the road since — but he has raced around Cayuga Speedway in his turban.
According to a story in the Globe and Mail, the Crown argued that the turban might unravel in the wind at highway speeds, and had even demonstrated the fact in a wind tunnel. But under the eye of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Badesha proved that turbans don’t blow apart easily, by riding his motorcycle around Cayuga at 110 km/h without cranial disrobing.
The government then admitted that its engineer had goofed, accidentally blasting its test turban with a 300 km/h wind.
The Human Rights Commission is involved because it feels the helmet law discriminates against Sikhs. Meanwhile, Badesha says he should be able to ride without head protection. "Who cares," he said, according to the Globe. "Everybody ends up dead anyway."
Badesha’s helmet-case trial continues in a Brampton court.