NL Gazette

Helmets are now compulsory for ATV riders in N.L.

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • ‘It seems nobody knows from anybody else’s blunders or poor choices,’ states RCMP Cpl. Jolene Garland.
  • Helmets are now obligatory for all ATV riders in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The Victoria Day weekend is a big one for people across Newfoundland and Labrador who look to bounce off the cold of winter and head into the brush for what might be the first camping journey of the season. 

But with the long weekend arrives a new rule: helmets and seatbelts — if installed by the manufacturer — are now compulsory while driving an ATV, side-by-side or snowmobile, besides for when riders are making regular stops while hunting and trapping, and their speed is less than 20 km/h.

Cpl. Jolene Garland, RCMP media connections officer, told CBC News on Friday that 33 individuals have died in ATV casualties in places patrolled by the RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador since 2020. Of those casualties, 16 were people who were not wearing a helmet. 

Eleven individuals who died were damaged. Six people have been killed so far in 2022.

Read more: Fuel prices fell sharply in N.L. with another unscheduled change

helmets and seatbelts — if installed by the manufacturer — are now compulsory while driving an ATV

In 2020 the RCMP established an ATV safety campaign that concentrated on education and enforcement of existing ATV rules to stop deadly accidents and spare families the heartbreak, said Garland.

“We want to paint the big shot here for people that this is happening, and this could very easily occur to you,” she said. “It seems that nobody knows from anybody else’s errors or poor choices, particularly when it comes to something so simple as a helmet.”

Garland said police will be out this weekend and could set up checkpoints or deploy their ATVs to patrol off-road locations. 

She said that fines have a $250 penalty for first-time offenders caught not wearing a helmet. The rule involves passengers as well, and in side-by-sides, where seatbelts are now required, kids who need a car seat in a regular vehicle will now need one if riding on a side-by-side. 

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