USA resorts to enforce skiing speed limits, will Australia follow suit?

speed limits

In a bid to reduce on snow collisions and create a controlled environment during peak periods, a number of North American resorts will be implementing speed limits on selected runs next season. If the trial proves successful then all runs will move from a green, blue and black rating to a speed limit rating. 

The $15 million government led initiative for 2019/2020 season will include speed enforcing on snow patrol with hand held speed radar guns in select locations. 

Green runs will be 5 to 10 miles per hour, intermediate blue runs will be 10 to 20 miles per hour and black groomed runs will be 20 to 40 miles per hour. Those caught skiing or riding slower or faster than the dedicated speed limits will be fined. Is this a mere revenue making scheme or genuine safety concerns?

Ungroomed off piste will not be limited with speeds, slow or fast. There is talk, however, of a future ski and snowboard license to ski off piste. 

While this initiative remains optional for US resorts in 2019/2020, it is believed that select Vail and Alterra Mountain Company resorts plus a handful of independents are already signing up for the trial. 

Australian resorts under the Vail brand may also consider implementing the speed policing, though it is not yet known if it will be trialed in the 2019 or 2020 southern season. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.