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Off-highway vehicle helmets required by May 15

An approved helmet will be mandatory for those riding an off-highway vehicle (OHV) on public land in Alberta beginning May 15.

Off-highway vehicle

For decades, the majority of injuries among OHV riders in Alberta have been head injuries. The introduction of this law follows broad public support from community advocates, parents and health organizations.

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. 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.

“This government has made a commitment to improving safety on Alberta’s transportation network. 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.”

Brian Mason, Alberta Transportation Minister

“The Government of Alberta struck the right balance with this legislation. Head injuries are the No. 1 risk to OHV riders. Making helmets mandatory will mean more riders will stay safe and continue to enjoy riding in Alberta’s beautiful landscapes.”

Brent Hodgson, president, Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association

Quick facts

  • OHVs include ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, 4-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.

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