New legislation is being proposed in the wake of an NBC Bay Area investigation.
NBC Bay Area first looked at ski lift safety last winter, and this year we’ve uncovered other revealing hazards at ski resorts. We found that unlike other states, California has very little oversight when it comes to safety at ski areas. If passed, this new ski safety bill would change that.
“Injuries or deaths -- that should be a matter of public record,” State Sen. Bill Monning said.
It’s information that we discovered most ski resorts have, but don’t tell you about.
“It’s really a matter of transparency and of public right to know and people are spending a lot of money to enjoy the resorts,” Monning, who represents portions of Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara counties said.
Monning’s new bill would require California ski resorts to prepare an annual safety plan detailing its accident prevention efforts and report injuries and deaths that happen on mountain to the state, and all of that would be available for public viewing.
“We should have that data to inform and take steps to rectify a dangerous situation,” he said.
NBC Bay Area reached out to the National Ski Areas Association and to the California Ski Industry Association. Both said they needed time to read the legislation before commenting on it.
Monning hopes the bill will make its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk in September. Brown will ultimately decide if the bill becomes law.
“It is exactly this type of investigative reporting that is critical to inform the public and to give people like myself, in an elected position, the information that can help us envision, shape, and move forward a legislative remedy," Monning said.
Previous ski safety investigations: