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October 28, 2017 3:28 am

ATV Crashes Preventable Says Mountie

Saturday, July 11, 2015 @ 4:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – When it comes to ATV crashes, a Prince George Mountie says it usually boils down to two main factors.

“It’s basically a lack of respect for the machine and a lack of respect for the terrain they’re travelling on,” says Sgt Al Steinhauser, Operations NCO for North District Traffic Services.

BC Coroners Service statistics show that from 2006 to the end of July last year, 111 people lost their lives in ATV related incidents, not including the four people who’ve died in northern B.C. since May.

He says in many cases these tragedies occur because of “a lack of knowledge of the machines they’re driving.”

“Well, put it this way, to operate a motorcycle or a vehicle you have to go through certain steps to get your licence,” says Steinhauser. “And there’s certain conditions we all accept. ATVs, UTVs, and all the other vehicles out now are new to our generation, they’ve become popular in the last 5-10 years and legislation hasn’t been able to keep up to it.”

For example, he says ATV riders aren’t required to take a course.

“People buy these machines at over 1000 cc’s now, which is more than most cars that are on the road,” says Steinhauser.

“They jump on them, no training, right out of the box into the back 40 (bush area). You have different terrains that these vehicles are designed for and drivers don’t have the experience to do it.”

He says another example is our helmet laws.

“There’s no real law for it when you’re on Crown land. There’s laws when you’re driving down logging roads and in provincial campgrounds, but for going on a bush trail there’s no law.”

Steinhauser notes it’s a recipe for disaster.

“We have a lot of single operator collisions where they’re not wearing helmets, they hit a rough spot in the road and they’re ejected. The only thing that’s going to save you from death is a helmet.”

What would he recommend then to someone in the market for an ATV?

“Get the right machine for what you want to do,” says Steinhauser. “Stay away from alcohol, wear a helmet, and take a course. You spend how many dollars on this machine? Take a course and learn how to ride it properly.”


“People buy these machines at over 1000 cc’s now, which is more than most cars that are on the road,” says Steinhauser.


I stopped reading right there, he is either very uninformed or just parroting something he has heard.

In either case what he has to say lacks credibility at this point. My advice to Mr. Steinhauser would be to do a little research before he jumps on the fear monger bandwagon.

Last time I looked, most vehicles on the road today still have engines bigger than 1000 cc’s. In regards to helmets….well if you choose not to wear a helmet while riding then I don’t think you’re too bright to begin with……

Just add Alcohol and those impossible runs become possible again.

Think he meant motorcycles but… hey…?

Nobody seems to get it. A safety issue is talked about and all you can do is slam the guy. Grow up! People die on these machines needlessly from stupidity and alcohol just like any other machine.
Try and educate your kids and friends instead of being so negative.

In the past 5 years where I work there have been 20+ People who have has serious and dehibilitating injuries directly linked to atv’s with 3 of those killed. In almost every case the injuries and death were preventable everything from drunk and impaired driving involving drugs to not wearing a helmet to not respecting the equipment or terrain.

I for one fully support training in proper use of off road vehicles because unfortunately too many people over estimate their driving abilities on these machines and have personally watched 3 rollovers occur due to the riders not understanding the power of the machine to not reading the terrain.

Unfortunately there are way too many people who do not or will not obey or understand their machines or terrain and don’t even carry the proper safety gear in the event of an accident or other issue.

Maybe the power is not equal but the power to weight ratio sure is. Those knocking the article maybe need lessons.

Everything is preventable and I see you are all geniuses that know it all about everything.

I think people are getting tired of being over regulated. Common sense says don’t drink and drive, wear a helmet, and so on. Don’t act like a Friggin idiot and you’ll be fine. How many people out there who want regulations actually ride?

More people die driving cars than atv’s anyway.

“…and legislation hasn’t been able to keep up to it.”

A very diplomatic statement, but kind of unacceptable!! What have all these hundreds of government ministers, deputies and managers been doing in their offices all these years? Too busy to keep up? Sure!

The article doesn’t say where the 111 deaths have occurred in the past 9 years…..Northern BC, provincially, nationally?

Atvs have been around a lot longer than 5 – 10 years. And what about snowmobiles? They have their share of fatalities as well.

“More people die driving cars than atv’s anyway.”

That is true. There is one simple reason. There are many more cars than ATVs and UTVs. Not only that, but the total distance travelled by people in cars is thousands of times greater than by ATVs.

In order to relate the safety of one mode of travel against another, one needs to use the same unit of measurement such as incidents/deaths per 1,000km travelled.

Here is an article from 2010 blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2010/10/study-atv-accidents-deadlier-than-motorcycles.html

“According to the study, presented at the 2010 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, riders of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) are far more likely to die or suffer serious trauma than motorcyclists after an accident. According to researchers from Johns Hopkins Center for Surgery Trials and Outcomes Research, while the initial injuries was similar for both groups, those injured on ATV suffered far worse fates. ATV riders were 50 percent more likely to die due to their injuries, as well as 50 percent more likely to require intensive care and artificial ventilation.”


The above links to statistics from the USA from 2009 showing age relationship to Emergency Department visits for ATV-related injuries.

From that, 58% of visits are by riders who are 18 years old and younger.
39% are 15 years old and younger.
74% are 24 and younger.

ATV incidents resulting in injury is a young people’s occurrence.

Finally, again from the USA since Canadian stats are difficult to find, “of the 2,321 adults and children killed on ATVs in the US from 2005 to 2007, 47% died on public roads – even though ATV makers say the vehicles should not be driven there.”

I agree with the comment that the Mounties need to improve their knowledge about the use of ATVs and UTVs.

Lots of accidents with 4 wheelers. People are careless and obviously dont knowwhat their doing. Drugs and alcohol are a big factor im sure.

Is this leading towards a other stupid operators card or course we’ll have to pay for??

How can you let your Kids ride them on my Road and on Blackwater ? Nothing more to say

Some kids tried to do a nut in a Mustang on ferry by the Superstore and ripped their rear wheel off on the curb today, luckily I don’t think anyone was hurt except maybe a few egos. And I do believe they passed a driving exam – like they say, can’t fix stupid.

Words from November 10, 2014 250news.com/2014/11/10/voluntary-registration-of-snowmobiles-and-off-road-vehicles-starts

Just one week from today, new Off Road Vehicle registration will be underway in B.C. . The new rules cover off road vehicles, including snowmobiles, which may be operating on Crown Land, which includes forest service roads.

The new registration system is currently voluntary for operation on Crown land, but will become mandatory on June 1, 2015. The combined cost of the number plate and registration fee is $48, insurance of course will be extra.

Effective November 17th, one week from today, off-road vehicle owners can obtain a one-time registration for off-road vehicles at any of the 900-plus ICBC insurance brokers in the province.

In addition, changes to the Motor Vehicle Act regulations, effective today will allow off-road vehicle operators greater access to highways, including the ability to:

* Cross a highway without having to obtain an operation permit if the crossing is controlled by a stop sign or traffic light.

* Cross a highway where local police authorize through an operation permit.

* Load or unload in a parking lot without an operation permit.

* Obtain an operation permit with an extended term of up to two years.

There are more regulations to come, including rules of operation, safety standards, penalties and conditions of use for a variety of Off Road Vehicles, including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or “quads”, dirt bikes and side-by-sides (e.g., Rhinos and Argos).


The June 1, 2015 date came and went. The government did not manage to put together the regulations part of the Act. The projected date now is sometime before the end of the year.

The implementation date of June was a crazy one since there was no certainty about anything. There were all sorts of different interpretations by insurance brokers dealing with ICBC. The forestry field season was starting and businesses with dozens of ATVs did not know which way was up and down.

As far as courses go, anyone using ATVs, etc for work falls under WorkSafeBC that require training that meets specifications as written in regulations. There are no recommended course, but there are two or three that are the most common ones for workers as well as for recreational use.

BUT, as can be seen, the majority of incidents happen with youth who are typically not in the workforce.

“I think people are getting tired of being over regulated. Common sense says don’t drink and drive, wear a helmet, and so on. Don’t act like a Friggin idiot and you’ll be fine. How many people out there who want regulations actually ride? ”

and yet idiots keep ridin these things drunk, without helmets, with their kids on the front racks, and the like. I guess common sense is pretty uncommon among the atv-riding set?

And how many car drivers still drink and drive? How many car drivers speed and text and try to do all sorts of other crap behind the wheel?

ATV riders certainly don’t own the patent when it comes down to poor skills. It’s been illegal for years yet people still drive drunk. It’s been illegal for quite a while yet people still try to text while driving. It has been illegal for MANY years yet people still speed excessively.

Regulations will not fix stupid. Morons are still going to act like idiots no matter what they drive or how severe the fines get.

Hey Al, when you read this, just remember the negative ones are sitting in a basement somewhere in front of a computer screen. They don’t have an ATV, well, one can always hope. Safe shifts, and thanks for the advice.

So It is recommended to take a driving exam in order to qualify to operate an ATV Lets see Mr Smith welcome to the ICBS test parking lot please drive around the 6 cones presented. Thank you Mr Smith you successfully manouvered around the course please give the clerk 400.00 and you are legally qualified to operate said vehicle

How many on Snowmobiles in the same time line?

Hey Al, how’s that noisy motorcycle exhaust crackdown coming along? Oh right, you ride one of those.

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