Police issue public safety notice after a jump in ATV-involved deaths

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Ontario Provincial Police are reminding all-terrain vehicle riders to take safety precautions before they head out as fatal ATV incidents have jumped by 125 per cent this year compared to last. Of the nine people who have died, more than half were not wearing a helmet.

For All Terrain Vehicle Safety Awareness Week, police and the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs (OFATV) are urging riders to wear an approved motorcycle helmet every time they ride, regardless of riding experience or skill level. According to the OFATV, passengers and drivers need to wear a helmet with a DOT rating or higher, which specifies that the helmet meets certain minimum motor vehicle safety standards. There are also a number of safety courses adults and youth can take to reacquaint themselves with rules for riding on trails and roads.

A refresher on rules for all-terrain vehicle drivers and passengers

The rules for all-terrain drivers and passengers in Ontario vary depending on whether you are driving on-road or off-road. The rules that follow are according to the OFATV’s website. This list does not cover the legislation that governs driving on the road. Before you head out, you’ll need to check to see if the trail that you’re planning to ride on is a legal road.

For on-road riding, a driver must:

  • be at least 16 years old
  • hold at least a valid G2 or M2 licence
  • wear a seat belt, where provided
  • drive at speeds lower than the posted speed limit

For off-road riding, the driver must:

  • be at least 12 years old, unless directly supervised by an adult, or driving on land occupied by the owner of the ORV
  • carry the ORV’s registration permit or a true copy

In any instance, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal.

For on-road riding, a passenger on an ORV:

  • must be at least 8 years old
  • must wear a seat belt or use footrests, where applicable
  • must wear a motorcycle helmet

Passengers are not permitted on off-road motorcycles.

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