The Saskatchewan ATV Association is pushing for safety training after a teenage girl from Hudson Bay died last weekend when the ATV she was riding rolled.
John Meed with the Saskatchewan ATV Association said it was gut-wrenching to hear of the incident.
“We hate to see any fatalities involving ATVs,” said Meed. “Especially when it involves a young person like that.”
The girl was 14-years-old. Meed said it is legal for teens aged 12 to 15 to operate an ATV on public property as long as they are being supervised by someone who has had a driver’s license for at least one year.
However, the RCMP has said the girl was not wearing a helmet.
“That’s a problem, and we know it’s a problem,” said Meed. “We had a campaign last year that focused in on helmets. We’ve had another safety campaign this year where safety helmets was one of those issues that was described as important.”
Meed said ATV accidents are often caused by a lack of education, which is something the Saskatchewan ATV Association has been trying to change.
“We’ve proposed mandatory training for years now. They do it in the snowmobile sector and it’s proved very successful there.”
Meed said the Saskatchewan ATV Association works to educate riders on how to get out of dangerous situations.
“One of the things that we do teach in the training courses is how to get off [the ATV] properly when you start seeing it roll over,” said Meed.
“When you’re ejected from a machine, especially if it rolls on top of you, or if you’re not wearing proper equipment,” said Meed. “That’s where we’re seeing the serious injuries.”
While alcohol is not considered a factor in the fatality near Hudson Bay, Meed stressed that it has been a major contributing factor in many of the ATV related deaths over the past couple of years.
According to Meed there were five ATV related deaths in 2014 and eight in 2013.