by Morinville News Staff

An approved helmet will be mandatory for riders using off-highway vehicle (OHV) on public land in Alberta beginning May 15. This includes ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles.

The government says the majority of injuries among OHV riders in Alberta have been head injuries. Between 2002-2013, Alberta averaged 19 OHV-related deaths per year. Helmets were not worn in 77 per cent of serious head injuries during the same time period.

Consultations in the fall of 2016 showed the majority of participants said it was time for Alberta to join the other provinces in having a helmet requirement for OHVs.

The new law requires anyone riding in, on, or being towed by an OHV on public land to wear an approved helmet. Those who do not could receive fines from $93 for not wearing an approved helmet to $155 for failing to wear a helmet.

“This government has made a commitment to improving safety on Alberta’s transportation network,” said Brian Mason, Alberta Transportation Minister, in a release Monday. “Albertans told us overwhelmingly that they wanted us to make helmets a requirement for OHV riders, and we responded. This will keep riders safe so that OHVs can be enjoyed well into the future.”

Brent Hodgson, president, Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association, says the Government of Alberta has struck the right balance with the legislation.

“Head injuries are the No. 1 risk to OHV riders,” Hodgson said. “Making helmets mandatory will mean more riders will stay safe and continue to enjoy riding in Alberta’s beautiful landscapes.”

For more information on vehicles and acceptable helmets, visit http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/documents/OHVHelmets-FAQ.pdf

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