Approved helmets are now mandatory for those riding an off-highway vehicle (OHV) on public land in Alberta starting May 15.
The introduction of this law follows broad public support from community advocates, parents and health organizations, states a government news release dated May 1.
“This will keep riders safe so that OHVs can be enjoyed,” Transportation Minister Brian Mason says.
“Albertans told us overwhelmingly that they wanted us to make helmets a requirement for OHV riders, and we responded.”
The law requires helmets be worn by anyone riding in, on, or being towed by an OHV on public land.
Fines will range from $93 for not wearing an approved helmet to $155 for failing to wear a helmet.
For decades, the majority of injuries among OHV riders in Alberta have been head injuries.
During public consultation in the fall of 2016, the majority of participants said it was time for Alberta to join the other provinces in having a helmet requirement for OHVs.
“Making helmets mandatory will mean more riders will stay safe and continue to enjoy riding in Alberta’s beautiful landscapes,” says Brent Hodgson, president of Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association.
“Head injuries are the No. 1 risk to OHV riders.
“The Government of Alberta struck the right balance with this legislation.”
-OHVs include ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, four-wheel drive vehicles, and side-by-sides.
-“Public land” is Crown land, including areas that have been designated for public OHV use, public roadways and highway rights-of-way.
-Between 2002-2013, Alberta averaged 19 OHV-related deaths per year.
-In 77 per cent of serious head injuries in that same time period, the individual was not wearing a helmet.
-In 2010, OHV injuries resulted in $50 million in public health care costs.