A group of quaders gather on a pipline and utilities corridor during May long weekend in the West Country on Saturday, May 17, 2014. (Advocate File Photo)

Central Alberta ATV riders applaud mandatory helmet law

Mandatory helmets for off-highway vehicle riders come into effect later this month, and to some riders it’s a welcome change.

As of May 15, helmets will be mandatory for those riding off-highway vehicles on public land in Alberta. This includes ATVs snowmobiles, four-wheel drive vehicles and side-by-sides.

Calvin Rakach, Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association secretary and member of the Bighorn Heritage ATV Society, said both organizations applaud the move.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for many years and encouraging the government to put the helmet laws in place,” said Rakach, who lives in Sundre. “We’re dedicated to promoting safe individual family motorized vehicle opportunities and helmets are the first line of defence for that.”

The West Country, near Sundre and Rocky Mountain House is a well used area for riders. Bighorn Heritage ATV Society is a group of volunteers who build and maintain trails in the Hummingbird and Bighorn Dam areas.

According to the provincial government, Alberta averaged 19 off-highway vehicle deaths per year. In that same period, 77 per cent of serious head injuries happened to individuals not wearing helmets.

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,” said transportation minister Brian Mason in a release.

“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.”

The law only applies to off-highway vehicles operated on public land, which is any area designated for public use. This includes Crown land, public roadways, highway right-of-ways and areas designated for public use.

“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,” said Brent Hodgson, Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association president.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: From humble beginnings Red Deer-based wrestling promotion is growing

It wasn’t that long ago that Dylon Featherstone and the Canadian Wrestling… Continue reading

WATCH: Families make yo-yos and weaved yarn at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery

It was all about making yo-yos and yarn bombing at Red Deer… Continue reading

Solve mysteries with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Red Deer

At three sold-out one act Sherlock Holmes plays in Red Deer, theatre… Continue reading

Quebec man arrested in slaying of Alberta woman 16 years ago

AIRDRIE, Alta. — A Quebec man has been arrested in the slaying… Continue reading

Construction underway at Medicine River Wildlife Centre in Red Deer

The new building is twice the size of the old one

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Liberals looking at creating use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is raising the idea of creating… Continue reading

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Life or death main decision for school shooting suspect

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The evidence against the Florida school shooting suspect… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month