Fatal ATV crashes on the rise in Ontario: OPP

Click to play video: 'Ontario reports increase in ATV fatalities'
Ontario reports increase in ATV fatalities
Ontario Provincial Police say they're seeing an alarming trend in all-terrain vehicle fatal collisions. Numbers are up across the province by about 125 per cent and in many cases, police say the victims were found without their helmets on. Tricia Mason has more – Jun 13, 2024

Fatal all-terrain vehicle collisions in Ontario in 2024 have already doubled over the same time a year ago, police are reporting.

So far in 2024, there have been eight driver deaths related to ATVs, with one passenger also dying in an ATV incident. More than half were not wearing a helmet. At this time last year, there were four deaths — three drivers and one passenger. In 2023, OPP investigated 26 fatalities involving ATVs.

Peterborough County OPP Const. Dan Gay says the causes of the crashes vary.

“What we tend to find is people that are going out on the trails, are going out either not properly equipped — as far as safety,” he said. “Or they are not seasoned riders and are riding beyond what their capabilities are.”

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.

Get daily National news

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.
By providing your email address, you have read and agree to Global News' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Impaired driving is also a “growing issue,” says Gay while noting it’s illegal to operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Story continues below advertisement

The Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs (OFATVC) says interest in ATVs continues to grow, resulting in more vehicles in use and an increase in new riders on the province’s trails.

“We would save some fatalities if everybody was wearing a helmet, first and foremost,” said Teresa Hebb, OFATVC vice-president. “We certainly have seen a boom, especially since COVID, in recreational ridership.”

OPP and OFATVC advise riders to never travel alone and to always carry a working phone, and safety equipment, especially a helmet.

Hebb notes users of ATVs must be at least 12 years old. However, she cautions the powerful machines need to be taken seriously, especially when choosing the correct machine and trail to travel on.

“The larger number of incidents and accidents are occurring in two places: One is on private property the second is riding on roads,” said Hebb. “If it’s loose gravel, it’s just very easy to pull you into the ditch and easy to lose some of that upper-body or road traction.”

Parents and guardians can get youth involved in ATV riding and receive proper training via  Ontario’s Youth ATV Rider Training Program.

Meanwhile, the OPP says they will be maintaining a prescence on trails throughout the spring and summer seasons.

Story continues below advertisement

“You need to make sure your ATV has insurance, is plated, and have the permit with you,” he said. “At any point in time you may see one of us on the trail. And if so, we are going to stop you and make sure you have all those things and make sure you are paying for your trail pass.”

Sponsored content