July 11, 2018 2:25 pm
Updated: July 11, 2018 6:17 pm

Officials stepping up patrols, reminding people not to drive ATVs impaired

WATCH: There’s been an increase in ATV-related deaths over the past few years, resulting in the RCMP and conservation officers stepping up patrols to ensure everyone is travelling safely. Natasha Pace has more.

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It’s a popular outdoor activity but unsafe ATV riding can be dangerous. In 2017, six people died while operating All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) on trails in Nova Scotia.

“In the past eight years, 24 riders of ATV’s have died as result of collisions in Nova Scotia,” said Cpl. Dal Hutchinson, spokesperson for Nova Scotia RCMP.

“Over that period of time also, we’ve had 62 riders who have been seriously injured as a result of riding ATVs in an unsafe manor.”

WATCH: NS RCMP urge ATV drivers to put on helmets, not to drink and drive

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Some ATVs can go well over 100 km/h. Officials are encouraging riders to educate themselves and be responsible.

“They’re powerful equipment and they can get out of hand if you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing and you could get hurt,” said Jim Crowell, president of the Marine Riders ATV Club.

READ: 76-year-old dead after all-terrain vehicle crash in Martins River, N.S.

In an effort to combat unsafe ATV driving habits, RCMP and Conservation Officers from the Department of Environment are stepping up patrols and checkpoints, looking for anyone breaking the law.

“We’re seeing an increased amount of people that are on ATVs that are under the influence of alcohol and drugs. As well as unregistered machines and people riding their machines with no helmets,” said Conservation Officer Nick Redi.

WATCH: ATVs cause more injuries than any other sport in Atlantic Provinces: Study

According to police, speed, no helmet and alcohol are the most common factors they see in serious ATV collisions.

“We want to get the message out that there’s a safe way to have fun and including alcohol and drugs and not wearing safety equipment are not the ways to go about it,” said Hutchinson.

READ MORE: Safety campaign asks ATV riders to know your limits 

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