Rhode Island Skier Safety Act

Rhode Island Skier Safety Act

General Laws of Rhode Island



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R.I. Gen. Laws § 41-8-1  (2012)

§ 41-8-1. Duties of ski area operators

   It shall be the duty of a ski area operator to comply with the following requirements and regulations:

   (1) Whenever maintenance equipment is being employed upon any trail or slope while the trail or slope is open to the public, the ski operator shall place or cause to be placed, notice to that effect at or near the top of any tramway or surface lift servicing any trail or slope in the area being maintained.

   (2) The ski area operator shall also have the duty to maintain and to identify all trail maintenance vehicles and to furnish the vehicles with flashing or rotating lights, which lights shall be operated during the time that the vehicles are working the trails or slopes, and likewise during the time the vehicle is in movement from its normal and customary storage location to any other point within the ski area.

   (3) With respect to the emergency use of motor driven vehicles within the ski area, including, but not limited to, uses for purposes of removing injured or stranded skiers, or performing emergency maintenance or repair work to slopes, trails, or tramway equipment, the ski area operator shall not be required to post such signs as is required by subdivision (1), but shall be required to maintain such lighting equipment required by subdivision (2).

   (4) All snowmobiles operated on the trails or slopes of the ski area shall be equipped with a lighting device, which device shall be in operation while the vehicle is in operation.

   (5) The ski area shall likewise have the responsibility to mark the location of any hydrants used in snow making operations and located within or upon a slope or trail.

   (6) Ski area operators shall maintain and operate, or cause to be maintained and operated, the ski areas under the control in a reasonably safe condition or manner, and shall be required to maintain a sign system on all buildings, tramways, ski trails, and slopes.

§ 41-8-2. Duties of a skier

   (a) It shall be the duty of each skier to conduct himself or herself within the limitation of his or her ability, and to do no act or thing which can contribute to the injury of him or herself or others.

(b) No skier shall:

   (1) Embark or disembark upon a ski lift except at a designated area and during designated hours of operation;

   (2) Throw or expel any object from any tramway, ski lift, skimobile, or other similar device while riding on the device;

   (3) Act in any manner while riding on a rope tow, wire rope tow, j-bar, t-bar, ski lift, or similar device that may interfere with the proper or safe operation of the lift or tow;

   (4) Willfully engage in any type of conduct which may injure any person, or place any object in the uphill ski track which may cause another to fall, while traveling uphill on a ski lift; or

   (5) Cross the uphill track of a j-bar, t-bar, rope tow, wire rope tow, or other similar device except at designated locations.

(c) Every skier shall maintain control of his or her speed and course at all times, and shall stay clear of any snow grooming equipment, any vehicle, any lift tower, any snowmaking equipment, and any other equipment.

(d) A skier shall be the sole judge of his or her ability to negotiate any cross country track, trail, or slope.

(e) A skier shall be the sole judge of his or her ability to negotiate any downhill track, trail, or slope.

(f) Any skier who boards a rope tow, wire rope tow, j-bar, t-bar, ski lift, or other similar device, shall be presumed to have sufficient abilities to use the device, and shall follow any written or verbal instructions that are given regarding its use.

(g) A skier skiing downhill shall have the primary duty to avoid any collision with any other skier below him or her, and except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the responsibility for collisions by any skier with any other skier or person shall be solely that of the skier or skiers or person involved and not that of the operator;

(h) No spectators are to be allowed on areas specifically designated as skiing areas.

(i) Any person skiing on other than improved trails or slopes within the area shall be responsible for any injuries resulting from his or her action.

(j) Any skier embarking on a lift or tow without authority of the operator shall be guilty of trespassing.

(k) All skiers shall, prior to their entrance onto the trails or slopes, or embarking on any lift or tramway, have attached or on their skis, a device for the purpose of restraining or preventing a runaway ski.

(l) No skier shall ski on a slope or trail or portion thereof which has been designated closed, nor ski on other than identified trails, slopes, or trail areas.

(m) The primary responsibility for the collision with any obstruction, man made or otherwise, shall be that of the skier and not that of the operator.

(n) Any owner, manager, or employee of any ski area who finds a person in violation of this section, may first issue a verbal warning to that individual or suspend his or her recreational tramway privileges. Any person who fails to heed the warning issued by the owner or employee or agent of the operator shall forfeit his or her recreational tramway ticket and recreational tramway use privileges and be refused issuance of another ticket to the recreational tramway.

§ 41-8-3. Leaving the scene of an accident

   Any person who is involved in a skiing accident and who departs from the scene of the accident without leaving personal identification or otherwise clearly identifying himself or herself before notifying the proper authorities or obtaining assistance, knowing that any other person involved in the accident is in need of medical or other assistance, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars ($ 200).

§ 41-8-4. Severability

   The provisions of this chapter are severable, and if any of its provisions shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions.