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New Avalanche Safety Law In Piemonte

avalanche beacon
Ortovox avalanche beacon

Authorities of Piemonte Region, Northern Italy, just few days ago passed a law to make carrying make avalanche safety gear (avalanche beacon, shovel and probe) obligatory for all winter sports amateurs, including ski mountaineering – no matter wether they ski on marked and secured ski runs or go off-piste.

The law applies to the whole Piemont region and supersedes the national law, which requires carrying avalanche safety gear only in cases if there is an obvious avalanche risk (risk level 3 or above). Now persons who violate new Piemont regulations will be fined for up to EUR 250. Which is more, insurance polices will be invalid in case of having no gear required according to the law.

Mainly, the new law is believed as quite reasonable, because it makes people think more about their safety in particular and responsibility in general. The question remains how useful is carrying the safety gear if people have no skills to use it in proper way.

But such measures are better than nothing, because if people are rightly equipped, most of them tend to learn how to use the gear correctly. And it would be the right move if authorities not only tracked compliance to the law and fine violators, but also spread the knowledge, for instance, introduceв some short term classes to show people how to act in situations of avalanche threat.

Photo: Ortovox avalanche beacon

Date: 16/02/2009

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