Released on May 26, 2023
The Vehicle Equipment Regulations have been amended to give the Minister Responsible for SGI the authority to grant a temporary exemption from the requirement to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. The exemption is available to members of the Sikh religion while participating in special events.
The change is intended to allow Sikh motorcyclists to participate in events like charity rides. All exemptions would have to be approved by the Minister, and would be limited to members of the Sikh religion. Exemptions would be event-specific, and this change does not grant a permanent, blanket exemption for all members of the Sikh religion to ride motorcycles without a helmet.
Sikhs wear a turban as an expression of their faith and are unable to wear helmets. In British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, there are permanent, blanket helmet exemptions for religious reasons. Saskatchewan law requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets when operating a motorcycle on public roads.
In recent years, the Legendary Sikh Riders from British Columbia had asked Saskatchewan to consider a change to allow them to ride across Canada to raise money for charitable causes.
"Helmets are an essential piece of safety equipment for motorcyclists," Minister Responsible for SGI Don Morgan said. "While we have no plans to introduce a blanket exemption to motorcycle helmet laws, our government sees this provision for temporary exemptions as a fair compromise that will enable future charity fundraisers to proceed."
Any exemption granted would not apply to passengers or riders who are still learners or in their home province's graduated driver licensing program.
For more information, contact:Tyler McMurchy