Law could make skiers liable for not using safety bar

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– A recent accident involving a 14-year-old boy falling from a ski lift at Mohawk Mountain has prompted a call for a change in law.

State lawmakers are debating a plan to make skiers liable if they do not bring down the safety bar on the ski lift.

There’s all kinds of rules in state statues regarding ski safety but there’s nothing on the books about using the safety bar.

No one has been complaining about this winter at the state’s ski slopes business was great Wednesday at ‘Mount Southington’ at least until the rains came.

Recent accidents involving falls from ski lifts at other ski slopes have put a spotlight on the fact that some skiers do not bring down the safety bar on the lifts on their way up the mountain.

State Representative Jan Giegler comes from a family of skiers, she wants to make a change in law making bringing down the safety bar similar to the auto safety belt law.

The law already requires skiers to secure their straps and not drop anything but research shows that there is nothing in current law regarding the use of the safety bar.

skiers Law could make skiers liable for not using safety bar

“This is just adding to that to the responsibility of the skier,” said Rep. Jan Giegler,(R) Danbury.

There are signs posted in several places telling skiers to be sure to lower the bar on their ride up the hill.

The owner there is all for the change.

“I think it’s terrific, we’re always all about safety here, we want people to come out and have good time and enjoy themselves, not get injured,” said Ed Beckley, Mount Southington.

Most of the skiers News 8 spoke with Wednesday also like the change.

“I think there should be a law because it’s very important, especially for our younger skiers. They need to be safe and it’s not always safe up there, you need to do everything you can just like wearing a helmet. You have to have the bar down,” said Carolyn Daniels, Meriden.

“The ski area does have a responsibility to keep people safe so if they advise you to keep the bar down and you don’t do it. I guess that’s your decision,” said Jeff Brooks, New Canaan.

This proposal is currently before the Public Safety Committee a public hearing is expected to be scheduled within the next few weeks.

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