07/16/2013 04:31 EDT | Updated 09/15/2013 05:12 EDT

City council in New Brunswick passes mandatory use of helmets at rinks

MONCTON, N.B. - A new policy approved by council in Moncton, N.B. will make the use of helmets by skaters at city owned rinks mandatory.

Effective Jan. 1 the policy covers everyone from seniors to parents and coaches, with the exception of figure skaters and officials from Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams.

The city already requires kids under 12 to wear helmets.

City officials say the policy is aimed at preventing head injuries.

A public awareness campaign will be conducted beginning in the fall and running through Dec. 31.

The city says it's the first in the province to make helmet use mandatory.