nb-skate-park-helmet

Anyone who violates the new helmet bylaw could be fined up to $500. (CBC)

Saint John skateboarders will soon be required to wear a helmet.

A new bylaw received first and second readings from city council on Monday night.

It requires any person riding a skateboard to wear a helmet within designated areas, including the Station 1 skate park, and Harbour Passage.

Anyone who violates the new rule, which still needs to pass third reading, can be fined up to $500.

The new law is called Josh's Law in support of Josh Dillon, 18, who suffered serious head injuries after falling from his skateboard last year.

Dillon, who wasn't wearing a helmet at the time, suffered a seizure on his way to the hospital and was placed in a drug-induced coma. Two days later, part of his skull was removed.

Last month, skateboarders in New Brunswick were calling on politicians to bring in mandatory helmet rules for their sport, following the death of another Saint John skateboarder.

Jason McKinnon, 31, died following a crash on July 12 at Fundy National Park. He hit his head falling off his skateboard, and was not wearing a helmet.

There are currently no laws making helmets mandatory while skateboarding in Fredericton, Moncton, or Saint John.

The existing Saint John bylaw prohibits skateboarding on any city street, including the sidewalk, but it doesn't mention helmets.

Sports helmets are designed to protect the back of the head, and are built to withstand continuous impact.