Reckless and out-of-bounds skiers in the Park City portions of Deer Valley and the Park City Mountain Resort could face jail time and fines if caught by ski patrollers.
The Park City Council unanimously approved a reckless skiing ordinance at its meeting Thursday. The issue garnered little council discussion and no public comment.
The law is based on similar ordinances in Summit and Wasatch counties, according to a staff report given to the council.
A recent annexation of part of Deer Valley into the city left that part of the mountain unprotected by criminal skiing statutes.
The issue of reckless skiing first reared its head in Park City in 2006 when two out-of-state skiers collided in Deer Valley, according to the staff report. Both skiers went to the police in an attempt to press charges.
The issue was settled civilly, but the incident compelled the police to ask the council for a recklessness ordinance, according to the report.
The ordinance requires skiers to stay in bounds, avoid reckless or negligent skiing and help injured skiers in the event of a collision. It also requires collision reporting as well as the sharing of contact information between colliding skiers.
The ordinance applies to skiers, snowboarders, sledders and tubers and any other person engaging in sport in ski areas.
Violation of the new ordinance would result in a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. The law also requires ski resorts to post "trail boards" listing skiers' duties.
The city and county ordinances are meant to be primarily an educational tool, according to the staff report.
"Staff is unaware of any prosecutions under either county's existing ordinances and therefore there is no expectation that many will occur," the report says.
Collisions in the 2006-2007 ski season resulted in 45 of 950 on-mountain injuries, according to the staff report.
Park City Police will enforce the ordinance if they are notified by ski patrollers of a problem. They will meet violators at the bottom of ski slopes and will not be asked to respond to the mountainside for enforcement. However, police will be allowed to do on-mountain investigations.The ordinance went into effect upon passing. Copies of it are available online at www.parkcity.org.
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