Medicine Hat man pushes for equality in regarding motorcycle helmets

By Taylor Chartrand
December 1, 2018 - 8:30am

MEDICINE HAT -- When it comes to riding a motorcycle or even a bicycle, helmets have been proven to save lives.

In April, Alberta became the third province to allow members of the Sikh religion to ride motorcycles without a helmet.

Area resident Troy Fandrick said if members of the Sikh religion don't have to wear a helmet, he shouldn't have to either.

"A law by definition is a rule, adopted by the citizens and applies to all its citizens. Now, the Minister of Transportation has decided that some people are entitled to make the choice to wear their helmet or not, without any extra qualification."

Fandrick said if safety is the number one reason why riders have to wear helmets, there should be no exemptions for the Sikh religion.

"I'm saying that's unfair, that's unconstitutional. I'm guaranteed the equal right to choose to wear the helmet. I'm not arguing with helmet safety, I'm not arguing health care cost, I'm not arguing racial issues or any other. I just want equal rights."

Over his years spent on two-wheels, Fandrick has received three tickets for not wearing a helmet.

Now, he's challenging his most recent fine in court.

"At this point, we've adjourned my case until January 16th. Once the lawyer's been retained, once I've secured money for council, we make an application to the court of queens bench to have the law reviewed."

The case has been moved from traffic court to provincial court, where you can challenge constitutional claims.

Here in Medicine Hat, Fandrick said there aren't many lawyers who deal with these types of cases. That has led him to seek help out of Vancouver.

"In conversations with the lawyer, he listened to my case, he listened to the facts and he agreed that my rights have been infringed on. He says that I have a case and we can win this."

Now, all Fandrick has to do is raise $10,000 for the lawyers retainer to get this thing rolling.

That financial support began with a 50/50 started by the owner of Who's on 3rd and BB's Dollhouse, Chris Czember.

"I believe the total was $350, to which I won $175. I said to him beforehand if I won, I'll just donate everything back," explained Czember. "I was lucky enough to win and donated it all back."

In addition to financial support, Fandrick also has Czember's emotional support as well.

"When he started this whole campaign, I was like 'this is a David vs Goliath thing or really, Troy vs the Canadian government.' But, he really has his stuff together and he's got a good case. I would really like to see him follow this through to fruition."

Fandrick has also started a go fund me page and with that $175, he's raised just under $8,000. Fandrick says he's ready to get this thing going.

"It's not a fight just for me, it's a fight for all riders and to be honest, all citizens. It's a stand that needs to be made."

RCMP in Alberta preparing for Impaired Driving Enforcement Day

Join the Discussion

We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.