Sikh loses court challenge to ride motorcycle without helmet

Discussion in 'Canada & Alaska' started by xShadowrider, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. xShadowrider

    xShadowrider New Member

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    Just an update to a thread that appeared here a couple of weeks ago, as reported in the local news:

    "A Sikh on Thursday lost his bid to ride his motorcycle without safety headgear when a court upheld Canada's helmet laws, ruling that riding without it would increase public healthcare costs in the event of a crash.

    Baljinder Badesha, 39, immigrated to Canada in 1989 and had been an avid motorcyclist in his native India.

    He challenged a law requiring him to wear a helmet over his turban when riding a motorcycle after being ticketed in mid-2005 for doing so, about a month after he purchased a Honda Shadow motorcycle.

    Ontario Court Judge James Blacklock ruled the law indeed violates his constitutional right to religious freedoms, but is justifiable because the safety measure dramatically reduces public healthcare costs and saves lives.

    "Given the nature of Mr. Baljinder Badesha's beliefs, which foreclose him from wearing anything over his turban, and yet the unquestioned safety and related issues, this is one of those cases in which, unfortunately, no accommodation appears possible," Judge Blacklock said in his decision.

    Badesha and his supporters told local media they were not disheartened by the ruling, saying they would now lobby the government to change the law.

    He maintains the helmet law discriminates against Sikhs because their religion obliges them to cover their long hair with nothing more than a turban."
     
  2. John451

    John451 Member

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    A Victory for common sense
     
  3. Taz

    Taz New Member

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    Yea, but the judge opened a whole can of worms agreeing in his statement that it "DOES" violate his rights:mad:

    He should of stated it takes away his privilege not his rights !
     
  4. Sam31

    Sam31 New Member

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    Amazing, only people with a real sense of entitlement can make a law that applies to everyone into "discrimination".
     
  5. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    Preventing someone from the Sihk religion from wearing a turban certainly does violate his right to freedom of religion under our Charter of Rights here in Canada. However as far as I am aware, nowhere in this Charter of Freedoms and Rights does it say it is your right to ride a motorcycle. If you are successful in the examination and road test criteria, then you are entitled to the privilege of getting the appropriate class license and to ride. Just follow the rules (laws). Whether or not you agree with the helmet legislation at this point is mute. It is the law and you must obey that law until such time it is changed. I have met many Sihks who do not wear a turban. They have their own reasons for this and that is non of my business. I know many Catholics as well. Some wear crosses, some do not. I cannot say I am the most educated man when it comes to religion. If you work in a hazardous work environment, I believe most jurisdictions' Worker's Compensation Boards, or their equivalent in the USA, require everyone to wear safety gear including helmets.

    Don't want to wear a helmet then this is just fine with me. Park the bike and take the bus. I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with the judge for a change. Our un-elected judges here in Cnanda have a trenancy to be weak kneed when it comes to protecting the rights of the public in general, and favour the criminal far to much

    Blh, blah, blah, blah, blah!
     
  6. drewl

    drewl Insider

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    they have that mouldable padding now, dude could make a killing selling turban/helmets. I bet he could even get them dot/snell aproved.
     
  7. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT New Member

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    I would most definitely kick that lawsuit happy guy in the jimmy.

    At least the judge was something intelligent. Sure it is your right to wear a turban, but it is not your RIGHT to ride a bike. You dont HAVE to ride a bike. If you want the privelidge, then bow to the necessary regs. You arent above the law just because you feel special. Everyone is unique. Everyone is special. Thats what my 3rd grade teacher said!
     
  8. Grilldemon

    Grilldemon New Member

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    Good for that judge! When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Helmet laws exist for a reason. If you travel or emigrate to another country, you have to follow their laws. It should be the same here. Even a low speed getoff can scramble your melon without a helmet on. guess this guy doesn't value his brain....
     
  9. jasonsmith

    jasonsmith Member

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    Holy two year thread bump batman....
     
  10. Molsan

    Molsan New Member

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    Old post but still...

    Did our legal system just make a rational decision? is there some appeal process we are missing?
     
  11. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with wearing helmets and wear mine all the time (except the 3 blocks to the corner store at 25mph and back to the house).

    I still think it's a slippery slope when a government tells a free society what it's people can and can't do in the name of "it saves people money"

    Some of you agree with this ruling because you strongly believe in helmets and that's fine. But what happens when the same standard is applied to other activities or lifestyles you enjoy are participate in?

    No more hiking steep mountains because people get hurt and it costs money?

    No more owning guns because there are stupid people who hurt themselves or others? (oh, Canada's already there...)

    No more sugar beverages because obesity costs too much money?

    Where's the personal responsibility? Why does the nanny state have to tell everyone how to live?
     
  12. AndyJ

    AndyJ New Member

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    Interesting. I work with a surgeon who is a Sikh. In the OR he takes off his turban and puts on the same hat as everyone else. Can't see how wearing a helmet would be any different in that regard - not like he's going with nothing on his head.
     
  13. Ghost_Rider

    Ghost_Rider Active Member

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    I think the premise of this thread was that somebody wanted an exclusion from the law based on their personal belief/religion. Everybody has to wear a helmet, so why no him? A lot of people have a personal belief that they should have the freedom to do as they choose, so if this man does not have to wear a helmet, why does anybody else?

    Have you ever seen the case(s) of the woman suing the Florida government over having to remove her burqua for her driver's license photo? Can you imagine if all of the states allowed people that exclusion? Now, it wasn't me that killed that person...you can see in my driver's license photo that I am in a "blue" burqua and you can clearly see that the prepetrator has a "red" burqua therefore it cannot be me. How would you feel if certain people were allowed to wear masks for their ID's and you could not identify them if they commited a crime?

    I think you are taking the wrong approach to this particular argument. I am 100% for people taking personal responsibility for their own actions. That is the reasons why we have so many laws, because people and their propensity to lay the blame on someone else and want $$$ in exchange for their own stupidity.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  14. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

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    How about him using some of that rattlecan stuff that looks like carbon fibre. I hope he can get some in Canada that we all know is a backward country with strange and unfair laws.
     
  15. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    If the judge would have cited driving as a privilege, not a right, instead of saying that it violates his rights but that's "ok" because of the cost then I would agree.
     
  16. Grilldemon

    Grilldemon New Member

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    Easy there Billy, Canada is just the same as the US. The only reason we would invade the US is if we ran out of beer LOL
     
  17. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

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    If you dudes up there would keep those damned indians on the reservations where they belong you wouldn't have all that trouble. What you could do is deport this indian dude to Arizona and we can ship his ass to Mexico where the beer is great.

    Looks like you Canucks had religious freedoms written into your constitution before us. This was all before anyone had to wear a skid lid so to really find out WTF is going on we would have to see the judge's entire written decision and not make assumptions from watching too much Judge Judy.
     
  18. Grilldemon

    Grilldemon New Member

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    Well said vfrlover. Crap like this clogs up the legal system. People just don't want to be responsible for their own stupidity. Stupid people just don't get it, to quote an old high school buddy.
     
  19. Billygoat

    Billygoat New Member

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    As I recall when this was in the news, some provinces DO provide an excemption to the helmet laws on religious grounds. Can't recall which ones...maybe B.C. and Manitoba?

    Anyway, the Sikh's argument is somewhat disengenuous. A quick search on the Internet reveals that Sikh's simply need to cover their hair...it doesn't specifically have to be with a turban. I remember seeing some Sikh's at a martial arts tournament who simply wore little bonnets, that didn't cover their entire hair, only the bun at the top.

    I also recall this argument made by Sikhs in the Canadian military back in the 80's or early 90's. As I recall, they were allowed to wear turbans in most situations save for artillery units, where they had to wear helmets.

    The helmet law doesn't infringe on their religious rights as people are not dependant on motorcycles for freedom of movement. And anyway, the helmet covers their hair, so that complies with their religious requirements.
     
  20. daver314

    daver314 New Member

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    BC Motor Vehicle Act still states that someone who wears a turban for a religious purpose does not have to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
     
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