Changes to ATV Safety Regulations Protect You and Your Children
If you own or operate an All-Terrain Vehicle then changes to the Motorized Snow Vehicles and All-Terrain Vehicles Act and Regulations may affect you. Announced in May 2005, by the Minister of Service NL, these changes are designed to reduce injuries and promote the safer use of ATVs.
Experts agree that children under the age of 16 don’t have the strength or coordination to safely operate an ATV. They don’t have the ability to spot and avoid hazards, and they’re more likely to take unnecessary risks.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that no child should operate a vehicle over 90cc. The Commission also estimates that the risk of injury for a driver younger than 16 is NOT significantly reduced by using a machine of less than 90cc.
The danger is the inability of young drivers to react appropriately. Evidence supports this. Children suffer a disproportionate number of deaths on ATVs.
Given this evidence, the provincial government decided that it was necessary to change the Act governing ATV use.
Children are six times more likely to be hospitalized and 12 times more likely to die from ATV related accidents than are children on bicycles.
“We know that children under the age of 16 years do not possess the physical size, strength, co-ordination and motor skills to operate an ATV, the cognitive capacity to look for and react to potential hazards, nor the good judgment to not act impulsively or take excessive risks.”
Dr. Andrew Major
Past-President, Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association
The Telegram, May 30, 2005
“Physical size alone is not the determinant for safe operation of an ATV. Children under 16 make up 14 per cent of all ATV users, but suffer a disproportionate number of fatalities. Proponents suggest that ATV use should be a parental decision. However, for health and safety reasons, as a society we don’t let parents make the final decision about when a child is old enough to drive a car, to drink alcohol, or to smoke. Laws based on evidence help parents make the safest choices.”
Dr. Minnie Wasmeier
The Telegram, June 8, 2005
“The next thing that has to be done is for parents to recognize the seriousness of injuries occurring among children using recreational vehicles.”
Dr. David Price
The Telegram, May 24, 2005