Saskatchewan allows Sikh motorcyclists to ride
without helmets for special events
Los Angeles, May 29, 2023
NRIpress.club/Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh
The seventh annual Nagar Kirtan celebrations in Regina marked the first time that Sikh motorcyclists have been able to ride in Saskatchewan with turbans instead of helmets.
“It’s hard for them to put their hair in the helmets and when they take it off, the hair opens up. According to our religious beliefs we find like to leave the hair open or uncovered,” Amrit Budwal, a Sikh motorcyclist taking part in the event, told.
The Saskatchewan government has acknowledged the issue that mandatory helmets pose for Sikh motorcyclists. Several Regina MLAs participated in the celebrations over the weekend.
“There is a temporary exemption available now for those who do charity fundraisers in the Sikh faith and so that’s a recent change that the government has made,” Gene Makowsky, minister of social services, explained.
The province said in recent years, the Legendary Sikh Riders from British Columbia had asked Saskatchewan to consider a change to allow them to ride across Canada to raise money for charitable causes.
“Helmets are an essential piece of safety equipment for motorcyclists,” said Don Morgan, the minister responsible for SGI. “While we have no plans to introduce a blanket exemption to motorcycle helmet laws, our government sees this provision for temporary exemptions as a fair compromise that will enable future charity fundraisers to proceed.”