Sikhs ask Ontario if they can ditch helmets

The Canadian Sikh Association is trying to get Ontario to allow them to ride without helmets, as the B.C. government has. Photo:
The Canadian Sikh Association is trying to get Ontario to allow them to ride without helmets, as the B.C. government has. Photo:

If you want to ride helmetless in Ontario, you’ve only got one option: go south, young man – it’s still legal in many areas in the U.S., but not in the 416, the 905, or anywhere else Dalton McGuinty reigns.

But the Canadian Sikh Association is trying to change that. Saying their human rights are being infringed on, the association is calling on the Ontario provincial government to allow them to ride their cycles wearing their turbans, not helmets, says the South Asian Focus.

Chairman Baljit Singh Ghuman says British Columbia and Manitoba, along with some U.S. states and the U.K., have already given Sikh riders the go-ahead to ride without their skid lids. But in 2008, an Ontario appeal court upheld a Sikh’s conviction for riding without his helmet, and that case has been been the province’s legal benchmark.

Even if they get permission to ride without helmets, though, Ontario’s Sikhs may still end up paying higher insurance premiums for the right – that’s what happened in Manitoba and B.C.


  1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making reasonable accommodations, where religion is concerned. This makes the questions quite simple; is it a religious issue, and is it reasonable to make the accommodation.

    In this case it is definitely a religious issue, as the Dastar is one of the physical signs of Khalsa. Is it then reasonable to make accommodation? No, as this is an issue of protective gear, that has been deemed mandatory.

    To this, I’ll add an additional question. If you are unwilling to forego certain pleasures for your religion, then just how strong is your commitment to that religion?

  2. Riding a bike, like driving a car is a privilege, not a right.
    Abide by the rules or do not participate….
    Or move somewhere else where the laws are different and my taxes dont pay your health care.

  3. My religion commands me to not pay taxes, drink copious amounts of alcohol while driving naked, and to have sex with young girls. Help! I am being oppressed! Call the U.N.!

    I demand that the dictates of my religion, cultural tradition or random superstition have precedence over all the laws of the nation! It’s my human right!

  4. So I guess racial profiling is okay as long as it is in the minority groups favour?? 

    It’s a slippery slope…so are they going to file a suit against the insurance company for charging them extra for insurance because of their religion??

    I think it should be one rule so that you are not having to enforce multiple standards…either have a helmet law or don’t…throw in a maybe and the water starts to get muddy…


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