Premier Doug Ford has said Ontario’s Sikh motorcyclists are going to be able to ride their motorcycles without helmets.
For several years, this has been a hot-button topic in Ontario, as Sikh riders have been seeking an exemption from helmet laws on religious grounds for years. Alberta, Manitoba and BC allow exemptions for devout Sikh motorcyclists who wish to ride with their turbans on instead of helmets. Sikhs have been trying to get a similar exemption in Ontario, but have been turned down by the courts and by the Liberal government.
For years, NDP and PC politicians have been promising they would change this if they were in power. The battle over the law has been going on since at least 2008, when a Sikh rider received a ticket for riding without a helmet and challenged it in court.
Now, Driving.ca is reporting Doug Ford has told Sikhs he will back up his party’s long-standing promise with action. Reportedly, Ford recently mentioned the move in a roundtable meeting with Sikh leaders in Brampton, saying his government would approve the helmet exemption by Christmas.