ATV official says Alberta needs to ban riders under 16

PEACE RIVER — An official with the all-terrain vehicle industry says Alberta needs to bring in a law banning riders under the age of 16.

PEACE RIVER — An official with the all-terrain vehicle industry says Alberta needs to bring in a law banning riders under the age of 16.

Bob Ramsay with the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council told a inquiry looking into the death of a 12-year-old boy while riding an ATV nearly three years ago that helmets should also be mandatory.

Kirkland Gour died in 2007 after his ATV flipped near the family’s home in Nampa, Alta.

The inquiry, believed to be the first in Alberta involving an ATV, will examine the circumstances that caused the incident and how it could have been prevented.

Ramsay said Wednesday that youth under 16 should not be on adult-sized ATVs and a law banning that would reduce injuries and deaths.

Provincial officials are working on draft legislation for mandatory helmet use, but it would apply on public land, not on private property.

“I can only police things on public property, not on private property, and we ask everyone not to let their children ride an ATV without a helmet,” said Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette.

Donna Gour says legislation would have made all the difference in the case of her son’s death.

“You don’t want to lose your child, it’s hard to go on without your child,” she said.

The final evidence in the inquiry will come from an ATV riders’ association.

It’s expected the judge’s recommendations could take several months.