Sikh Challenges Ontario Motorcycle Regulations

February 18, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Times of India

Baljinder Badesha never imagined that his religious devotion would compel him to race a motorcycle around an Ontario speedway to test whether turbans unravel at high speeds.

The bizarre image of 39-year-old Badesha's experiment last year - conducted under the auspices of the Ontario Human Rights Commission - was evoked during a constitutional challenge to a law that forces motorcycle riders to wear a helmet.

Badesha's counsel Mel Sokosky told Judge James Blacklock on Sunday that in order to disprove a Crown theory that turbans unravel at high speed and cause accidents, Badesha drove around Cayuga Speedway at 110 kilometres an hour.

Badesha and the human rights commission maintain the helmet law discriminates against Sikhs because their religion obliges them to cover their long hair with nothing else but a turban.