Law of 24 December 2003, n. 363
Law of 24 December 2003, n. 363
“PROVISIONS FOR SAFETY IN WINTER SPORTS AND DOWNHILL SKIING”
published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale n. 3 of 5 January 2004 – Unofficial translation: always refer to the Italian text of the law
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
(Purpose and Scope)
1. This Act lays down rules on safety in the practice of non-competitive winter sports and downhill skiing, including the basic principles for the safe management of ski areas, encouraging the development of economic activities in mountain areas, as part of an increasing attention to environmental protection.
MANAGEMENT OF EQUIPPED SKI AREAS
(Equipped ski areas)
1. Equipped ski areas are snow-covered surfaces, even artificially, open to the public including the slopes, ski lifts and snowmaking equipments, usually reserved for the practice of winter sports such as skiing, in its various forms; snow boarding, referred to as ‘snowboard ‘; cross-country skiing; sled and sledding; and other sports identified by specific regional regulations.
2. In order to ensure the safety of users, specific areas reserved for the practice of activities with tools such as sled and sledding, and possibly of other snow sports, are identified, as well as the areas where, even temporarily, the practice of snowboard is prohibited.
3. The areas referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 are identified by the regions. Such identification by the regions is equivalent to the declaration of public utility, “indifferibilità” and urgency and is the prerequisite for the establishment of compulsory servitude related to the management of these areas, subject to payment of compensation, as determined by the regions.
4. Within the areas referred to in paragraph 1, with more than three ski slopes, served by at least three lifts, the municipalities concerned shall identify, on days when competitive events are not scheduled, the features of the ski slopes to be reserved, on request, for the training of ski and snowboard athlets. The areas referred to in this paragraph must be separated with adequate protection from the other ski slopes and all those who attend them must be equipped with approved safety helmet, with the exception of those who plays the role of coach.
5. Within the areas referred to in paragraph 1, having more than twenty ski slopes, served by at least ten lifts, the municipalities concerned identify the areas to be reserved for the practice of acrobatics with ski and snowboard (snowpark). The areas referred to in this paragraph must be separated with adequate protection from the other ski slopes, must be equipped with facilities for the practice of acrobatics, must be regularly maintained, and all those who attend must be equipped with approved safety helmet.
(Obligations of operators)
1. The managers of the areas identified pursuant to Article 2 ensure that the users of these latters could practice sports and recreational activities in a safe condition, providing for the safety of the slopes following the determinations lay down by the regions. Managers have an obligation to protect users from obstacles along the slopes through the use of adequate protection of the same and of signs of a dangerous situation.
2. The operators are also obliged to ensure the rescue and transport of injured along the slopes in places accessible to the nearest health care centers or emergency room, providing every year to the regional authority responsible for the matter a detailed list of the accidents occurred on the ski slopes and indicating, where possible, also the dynamics of the incidents themselves. The data collected from the regions are transmitted annually to the Ministry of Health for the purposes of research and study.
3. Unless the act constitutes a crime, the violation of the provisions referred to in the first sentence of paragraph 2 involves the application of an administrative sanction for payment of a sum from 20,000 euro to 200,000 euro.
(Civil liability of ski area operators)
1. The operators of equipped ski areas, with the exception of areas for cross-country skiing, are civilly responsible for the regularity and safety of the tracks and can not allow the opening to the public without first having entered into a special contract of insurance covering their civil liability for damages derivable to users and third parties for injuries arising out of the operator’s responsibilities in relation to the use of those areas.
2. To the ski area operator who has not complied with the requirement referred to in paragraph 1 shall be applied the administrative sanction for payment of a sum from 20,000 euro to 200,000 euro.
3. The authorization for operating new lift facilities cannot be released unless a contract of insurance referred to in paragraph 1 is signed. The authorizations released at the date of entry into force of this Act are suspended until the conclusion of the insurance contract, if the operator fails to do so within three months from the date of entry into force of this Act.
(Information and dissemination of precautions aimed at the prevention of accidents)
1. For the financing of campaigns, on an annual basis, to promote safety in the exercise of winter sports, is allocated the sum of € 500,000 per annum, with effect from the 2003. Information campaigns are defined and prepared, after hearing the Permanent Conference for the relations between the state, the regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano and the national sports federation responsible for winter sports recognized by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), the Minister for Regional Affairs, in agreement with the Minister of Health. The campaigns provide the more extensive information to those who practice winter sports, also providing the dissemination of knowledge of the classifications of the slopes, of the signs and the rules of conduct laid down by this law.
2. Within the limit of 20 percent of the resources allocated by subsection 1, the Minister for Education, University and Research agrees with the national sports federation responsible for winter sports recognized by the Olympic Committee to set up initiatives aimed at disseminating the knowledge of classifications of the slopes, the signs and the rules of conduct referred to in paragraph 1, also by entering into appropriate agreements and providing information campaigns to be carried out in schools, to be carried out during normal school hours.
3. In furtherance of the purposes referred to in paragraph 1 the operators of equipped ski areas referred to in Article 2 shall be obliged of exposing documents relating to the classifications of the slopes, slope signs and the rules of conduct laid down by this law, ensuring their adequate visibility.
1. Without new or increased charges for public finance, within six months from the date of entry into force of this Act, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, after consulting the Permanent Conference for relations between the State, the regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano and the national sports federation responsible for winter sports recognized by the Olympic Committee, and also using the contribution of the Italian Authority for the Standardization, determines the appropriate signs which must be arranged in the equipped ski areas by the ski area operators.
(Ski areas maintenance and snowmaking)
1. The operators of the areas identified pursuant to Article 2 shall provide for the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the same areas, following the determinations of the regions, ensuring that they possess the necessary safety requirements and are equipped with the required signs.
2. If a ski slope appears in poor conditions, these conditions should be signalled to the users. If the conditions present objective dangers dependent on the state of the slope surface or on other atypical dangers, they must be removed, or the track must be closed. The signs concerning the state of the slope or the closure of the same should be placed, in a way clearly visible to the public, at the beginning of the slope, as well as at the valley stations of the cable transport systems.
3. In case of repeated violations of the provisions referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the competent institution or, in its place, the region may order the revocation of the authorization.
4. The operator has the obligation to close the slopes in case of danger or if they are unfit for use. Unless the act constitutes a crime, breach of the duty referred to in this paragraph shall give rise to the application of administrative sanction for payment of a sum from 5,000 euro to 50,000 euro.
5. In favor of the subjects referred to in paragraph 1, in order to implement measures for the safety of the ski areas, to be ensured also by providing adequate snow conditions of the slopes, it is authorized the expenditure of € 5,000,000 for the year 2003. From the year 2004 this contribution will be made in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 3, letter f) of the Law of 5 August 1978, n. 468, as amended. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, after consultation with the Permanent Conference for relations between the State, the regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano, distribute between the regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano, by issuing a non-regulatory decree, the resources referred to in this paragraph, following criteria based on the number of lift facilities and the length of the slopes. The regions and autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano define the procedures and criteria for the allocation and payment of these contributions.
6. The State, up to a maximum of EUR 5,000,000 for the year 2003, acts in support of the tourist economy of snow sports, through the provision of funding for tourism businesses operating in areas affected by situations of exceptional winter drought and lack of snow in ski areas, particularly with regard to investments related to snowmaking equipment. From the year 2004 this contribution will be made in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 3, letter f) of the Law of 5 August 1978, n. 468, as amended. These payments are granted up to 70 per cent of the total intervention admitted for the contribution. The effectiveness of the provisions of this paragraph shall be subject to their prior notification to the European Commission. The procedures and criteria for the allocation and disbursement of funds under this subparagraph shall be determined by a decree of non-regulatory nature of the Minister of Production Activities, upon agreement with the Permanent Conference for relations between the State, the regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano.
RULES OF CONDUCT OF USERS OF SKI AREAS
(Mandatory use of a protective helmet for children under fourteen years old)
1. During the practice of alpine skiing and snowboarding to subjects under the age of fourteen years are obliged of wearing a protective helmet compliant with the characteristics referred to in the following paragraph 3.
2. The person responsible for the violation of the provisions referred to in paragraph 1 shall be subject to administrative sanction for payment of a sum from 30 euro to 150 euro.
3. Within three months from the date of entry into force of this Act, the Minister of Health, in consultation with the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, after consulting the competent authority of CONI, establishes by decree the technical characteristics of protective helmets referred to in paragraph 1 above, and to determine the procedures for approval, the findings of the conformity of production and the appropriate controls.
4. Anyone who imports or manufactures for marketing protective helmets which does not comply with the characteristics referred to in paragraph 3 shall be subject to administrative sanction for payment of a sum from 5,000 euro to 100,000 euro.
5. Anyone who sells helmets of a type that does not comply with the characteristics referred to in paragraph 3 shall be subject to administrative sanction for payment of a sum of 500 euro to 5,000 euro.
6. The helmets that do not comply with the prescribed characteristics are subject to seizure by the court.
7. The provisions of paragraphs 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 shall apply as from 1 January 2005.
1. Skiers shall observe a course of conduct that, in relation to the characteristics of the slope and the situation of the slopes, does not endanger the safety of others.
2. The speed must be particularly low in the areas of the slopes where the view is not full, in the vicinity of buildings or obstacles, in the crossings, bifurcations, in case of fog, haze, poor visibility or of crowding, in narrow and in the presence of beginners .
1. The skier must maintain a direction that enables her to avoid collisions or interference with skiers who are downhill.
1. The skier intending to overtake another skier must make sure you have enough space for the purpose and have sufficient visibility.
2. Overtaking can be done both upstream and downstream, right or left, at a distance so as to avoid hindrances to other skiers.
1. At intersections skiers must give priority to those coming from the right or according to the directions of the signs.
1. The skiers who stop must avoid hazards for other users and bring themselves at the edges of the slopes.
2. Skiers are required not to stop in narrow places, in the vicinity of bumps or in places with poor visibility.
3. In the event of a fall or accident skiers must promptly vacate the slope, moving to the edge of it.
4. Anyone is obliged to report by suitable means the presence of an injured person of the slope.
(Failure to rescue)
1. When the situation does not fall in the cases envisaged by the second paragraph of Article 593 of the Criminal Code, anyone who while practicing skiing or other snow sports finds a person who is in difficulty and does not pay the assistance that this latter needs, or does not communicate immediately to the ski area operator, at any call station, the incident that took place, is subject to administrative sanction for payment of a sum from 250 euro to 1,000 euro.
(Transit and ascending)
1. It is forbidden to walk the slopes, except in cases of urgent necessity.
2 Who descends the slope walking must stay on the edges of the slopes, respecting the provisions of Article 16, paragraph 3.
3. On the occasion of competitions it is forbidden to outsiders to enter in the area reserved to the completion, passing the signs, stopping or skiing in the area reserved to the competition.
4. Ascending the slopes using skis is normally prohibited. The ascension is allowed upon authorization by the ski area operator, or, in the absence of such authorization, in cases of urgency and necessity, and must always occur at the edges of the slope, taking care to avoid any risk to the safety of skiers and following the prescriptions set under this Act, as well as those prescribed by the ski area operator.
1. The transit on the ski slopes of mechanical vehicles is prohibited, except as provided in this Article.
2. The mechanical vehicles used for the service and maintenance of the slopes and lift facilities can access the slopes only when the slopes are closed to the public, except in cases of necessity and urgency, and in this case provided that they use special devices for lighting and acoustic signals.
3. Skiers, in the case referred to in paragraph 2, shall give way to the mechanical vehicles used for the service and maintenance of runways and facilities and must allow their smooth and fast circulation on the slopes.
(Back country skiing and ski mountaineering)
1. The licensee of the ski area authorization and the ski area operator are not responsible for accidents that may occur in the back country skiing routes served by the facilities of the ski area.
2. When the weather and snow conditions create obvious risks of avalanches those who practice ski-mountaineering must carry on special electronic systems to ensure proper rescue operation.
(Additional requirements for security and sanctions)
1. The regions and municipalities may adopt additional requirements to ensure the safety and the best use of slopes and lift facilities.
2. The regions determine the amount of the administrative sanctions to be applied in case of violation of the provisions referred to in Article 5, paragraph 3, 6, 9 to 13 and from Article 15 to 17, to be established between a minimum of 20 Euros and a maximum of 250 Euros.
1. In the event of a collision between skiers shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that each of them has contributed equally to produce the damage.
FINAL PROVISIONS AND FINANCIAL COVERAGE
1. The provisions envisaged by this law for skiers also apply to those who practice snowboarding.
(Subjects responsible for sanctions)
1. Subject to the regional laws already in force in the regions, the State Police, the State Forestry Corps, the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza Corps, as well as the local police, in carrying out the service supervision and rescue in ski resorts, shall monitor compliance with the provisions of this Act and impose the corresponding sanctions against those who infringe them.
2. Complaints relating to the violation of the provisions of Article 9, paragraph 1, are issued, normally, upon reports made by ski instructors.
(Compliance with the provisions of the Act)
1. The regions, within six months from the date of entry into force of this Act, are required to adapt their legislation with the provisions of this Act, and of those which constitute fundamental principles in terms of individual and collective safety in the practice of skiing and other snow sports.
2. From the provisions of Article 2, paragraph 3, as well as of Articles 3, paragraphs 1 and 2, and Article 4, paragraph 1, shall not derive additional burdens on the budgets of local authorities participating in ski areas corporations and consortia management, but these latters may raise their fares in order to cover the higher costs entailed by the implementation of these provisions.
3. The provisions of this Act shall apply to the special statute regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano inasmuch as they are compatible with the special statutes and their implementing regulations.
1. The costs associated with article 5, paragraph 1, amounting to 500,000 euro per annum with effect from 2003, will be covered by a corresponding reduction in appropriations for the 2003-2005 budget, under the unit of forecast calculation set forth for the “Special Fund” of the state budget of the Ministry of Economy and Finance for the year 2003, using partially to this extent the resources saved by the same Ministry.
2. The costs deriving from Article 7, paragraphs 5 and 6, equal to € 10,000,000 for the year 2003, will be covered by a corresponding reduction in appropriations for the 2003-2005 budget, under the unit of forecast calculation set forth for the “Special Fund” of the state budget of the Ministry of Economy and Finance for the year 2003, using partially to this extent the resources saved by the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport.
3. The Minister of Economy and Finance is authorized to make, by decree, the necessary budgetary changes.