Turbaned Sikhs to be exempt from wearing motorcycle helmets in Ontario

Ontario plans to allow turban-wearing Sikhs to ride motorcycles without helmets.

The Progressive Conservative government says the helmet exemption will recognize Sikh motorcycle riders' civil rights and religious expression.

Premier Doug Ford says road safety will remain a priority but his government also believes that individuals have personal accountability and responsibility with respect to their own well-being.

Last week, Tory legislator Prabmeet Sarkaria tabled a bill to amend the Highway Traffic to allow the exemption.

Turbaned Sikhs are already exempt from wearing motorcycle helmets in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.

The Ontario government says the United Kingdom also implemented a motorcycle helmet exemption for Sikhs in 1976.