Alta. plans mandatory helmets on off-highway vehicles

Wearing a helmet when riding an off-highway vehicle (OHV) on Alberta public land may become mandatory pending government amendments to the Traffic Safety Act.

Transportation Minister Brian Mason announced the plan Nov. 28, which would affect those who ride all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, dirt bikes and similar recreational vehicles.

Mason said the move is designed to reduce head injuries and deaths incurred when riding OHVs.

The legislation would not apply to those riding OHVs on private land such as farms and ranches nor would it apply to First Nations and Metis land.

Laura Nelson, executive director of the Farm Safety Centre based in Raymond, Alta., said such a change to the act could better protect youngsters.

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“The Traffic Safety Act amendments being proposed could make future helmet use decisions easier for our youth, as legislation becomes an additional encouragement to make safe personal choices. We support the amendments being proposed and are hopeful they will be passed into law,” Nelson said in a news release announcing the plan.

The proposed legislation was also supported by Brent Hodgson, president of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association, who said helmet use is recommended to all its members.

The government release said a September 2016 survey showed 65 percent of 2,200 Alberta respondents favoured mandatory helmet use for OHV riders.

Between 2002 and 2013, 185 people were killed while riding ATVs in Alberta. Forty percent of them died from head injuries, according to data from the Injury Prevention Centre.

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  • bufford54

    Nothing says “concerned for your safety” more than a hefty fine for non compliance. It’s funny how the governments concern always involves them profiting from it.

    • Harold

      I agree. Tons of money can be made when it is made illegal to be hurt in future time fiction, and tons of money can be made when one is in fact hurt. In all cases. the injured party, before and after, are not the sole beneficiary.
      We throw a lot of money at fear because we have never accepted the reality of our own fate. Fate is not altered by the prophets of fear, nor the money of fear given them. Fate is at the time when the unthinkable happens, and not redirected by the direction of a government producing future time guilt fines and guilt tax regulations. That money used to remain in our pocket. The absurd has certainly become rational.