Approved helmets will be mandatory for anyone riding an off-highway vehicle on public land in Alberta beginning May 15th.

The introduction of this law follows public support from community advocates, parents and health advocates.

The majority of injuries among OHV riders in Alberta have been head injuries and in many cases the individual was not wearing a helmet.

In 2010, OHV injuries resulted in $50 million in public health care costs and between 2002 and 2013 Alberta recorded an average of three OHV deaths a year.

Public consultations began in the fall of 2016, a majority if participants said it was time for Alberta to join other provinces in having a helmet requirement for OHVs.

“This government has made a commitment to improving safety on Alberta’s transportation network,” says Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason. “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 requires helmets be worn by anyone riding in, on, or being towed by an OHV on public land.

Fines will range from $93 for not wearing an approved helmet to $155 for failing to wear a helmet.

“The Government of Alberta struck the right balance with this legislation,” says Brent Hodgson the president of Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association.  “Head injuries are the number one 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.”

An off-highway vehicle includes ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, four- wheel drive vehicles and side-by- sides.

Public land is Crown land including areas that have been designated for public OHV use, public roadways and highway rights-of way.