All-terrain vehicles are motorized vehicles that require adult skills and judgment. Canadian children continue to be injured and killed while riding ATVs.
Child use of motorized vehicles. Children and youth are at a special risk for ATV-related injuries and death as they lack the necessary knowledge, physical development, cognitive and motor skills to safely operate these vehicles.
Children under 16 should not use ATVs, regardless of its size or the power of its engine. Currently in Canada, ATV laws vary by jurisdiction and by location of use. Laws should also require use of appropriate helmets and mandatory safety training for all those operating ATVs.
For more information on preventing ATV-related injuries, please see:
Nova Scotia experiences 50 per cent reduction in ATV-related injury post-legislation.
The government of Nova Scotia amended its Off-highway Vehicles (OHV) Act to restrict youth under the age of 14 years from operating ATVs. The year after the law came into effect, IWK Health Centre in Halifax saw a 50 per cent reduction in ATV-related injuries for youth under the age of 14 years. Yet ATV-related injuries to youth 14-15 years did not change significantly. This suggests the law should be expanded to protect children up to age 16.
P.E.I. and New Brunswick have also amended their respective Off-road Vehicles (ORV) Act to restrict children under the age of 14 years from operating ATVs.