11/01/2012 11:48 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Legislation requiring helmet use on Nova Scotia ski hills now in effect

HALIFAX - A new law requiring skiers and snowboarders to wear helmets on Nova Scotia ski hills goes into effect today.

The mandatory, all-ages legislation requires that ASTM, Snell, CSA and CEN-certified helmets be worn.

The government says there have been 11 severe traumatic brain injuries since 2000 that have been attributed to skiing or snowboarding without a helmet.

Dr. David Clarke, interim head of neurosurgery at the QEII, says the leading cause of death among skiers and snowboarders is brain injuries.

He says the risk of injury can be reduced by 60 per cent by wearing a helmet.

Those caught without an approved helmet face a minimum fine of $250.