Halifax Regional Police are warning parents that if a person under the age of 16 is caught on a bicycle or skateboard without a helmet, that person's parent can be ticketed and it may affect their auto insurance.
"It definitely could, yes," said Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages.
"The parent could be issued a ticket for allowing a youth to either skateboard or bicycle without a helmet."
Earlier this week, a 25-year-old Halifax man went public with his story after he was dropped by his insurance company — TD Insurance Meloche Monnex — even though he has a clean driving record.
Pat Harland, who has gotten two tickets for skateboarding without a helmet and a third ticket for not wearing a seatbelt, was told by a representative with TD Insurance Meloche Monnex that those violations against the Motor Vehicle Act had counted against his insurance rating.
Harland was told he had the option of facility insurance, which is reserved for poor drivers or people who have had DUI convictions.
That option is so expensive, Harland said the representative on the phone recommended he get another insurance policy from another carrier.
"I think it's absolutely ridiculous. You guys heard the story, it's crazy," said Jackie C, a skateboarder on the Halifax Common.
"Of course I'm worried. I have a few tickets myself."
The Insurance Bureau of Canada said different companies may weigh such helmet infractions differently.
"If you do receive a ticket for an MVA violation, then it's a good idea to talk to your broker or agent about how your insurer uses those violations in rating," the Insurance Bureau of Canada said in a statement to CBC News.
"Describing the situation that lead to the ticket may also offer some additional insight and conversation with your insurance representative."
Skateboarders in Halifax have started a lobbying campaign and are emailing politicians for changes to the Motor Vehicle Art.
"It's totally two separate things. It doesn't make any sense to me," said Curtis Rothney.
"It's a bummer."