Starting this April, Albertans may start to see motorcyclists riding without the protection of a helmet.
According to a release from the Government of Alberta, turban-wearing Sikhs are now exempt from the law requiring riders to wear motorcycle helmets.
The amendment to the Vehicle Equipment Regulation in the Traffic Safety Act comes after the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba made similar changes to their rules.
“The Sikh community has urged us to grant this exemption in recognition of its civil rights and religious expression,” said Alberta’s Minister of Transportation, Brian Mason, in the release.
“Our government is committed to these principles.”
Baltej Singh Dhillon, the first RCMP officer to wear a turban, said in the release that the government’s decision was well made.
“The decision by the Government of Alberta to allow Sikhs to be able to ride their motorcycles without having to remove their turbans, which is an integral part of the Sikh identity, demonstrates a deep respect for the traditions and customs of the Sikh community.”
The new amendment comes into effect on April 12, two days before the Sikh community celebration of Vaisakhi on April 14.