ATV Fatalities on the rise say OPP

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It’s that time of year when the back roads and trails will likely see more ATV traffic as hunting season approaches and that has OPP on full alert this fall.

“We just want to bring to attention that people need to know and follow the rules” Monique Baker from OPP told SaultOnline.com

Baker notes that there has been 19 fatalities in the Province this year alone. That’s an increase from 12 last year at this time. In the Sault area there has already been four people killed in ATV accidents.

OPP say a few factors contributed to ATV fatalities such as non-helmet usage, speeding and losing control of the vehicle and alcohol along with inexperience on an ATV. “The machines today are being built big and lots of horsepower and if you don’t ride within your ability that’s when something is going to happen” Baker said.

Baker said according to the stats , a lot of the accidents that led to death on an ATV happens in the early Summer, but notes that the bush and back roads in the fall is also a popular time for the vehicles due to the number of hunters in the bush.

img_1603“For some reason people tend to forget that the same rules of the road applies to ATV’s, such as drinking alcohol “when they get on a trail there’s a misconception that it’s okay, when in reality it’s the same penalties  as being on a road in your car if you’re drinking”

OPP say that the 25 to 45 males age group tend to be in more fatal accidents surrounding ATV’s and UTV’s than any other age group.

“In July 2015, the Ontario Government enact the new legislation allowing ATV’s and UTV’s on Ontario roads and Highways said Michael Wreggitt, traffic sergeant with OPP” basically B scheduled highways and C scheduled highways, within a city boundary the City must have a by-law in effect for those rules to take affect” Wreggitt says that when an ATV is being operated on the road it can’t travel at posted speed limits. “When there’s a 50 km/h posted, the ATV driver can only operate at 20 km/h on Highways that operate above the 50 km/h the ATV is only allowed to operate at 50 km/h at the very top speed, unless you’re on private property

Wreggitt notes that many of the ATV’s built today can go much faster.

Wreggitt reminds drivers that passengers must be buckled in and wearing a helmet when operating an all-terrain vehicle .