With injuries on the rise in the province, the Saskatchewan All Terrain Vehicle Association (SATVA) has developed a proactive plan to bring awareness and safety to riders. Partnering with Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation and the Acquired Brain Injury Institute, SATVA’s safety outreach aspires to create safer and more aware riders throughout Saskatchewan.
The number of OHV riders in Saskatchewan is difficult to estimate, since the province has no mandatory registration process. However, we do know that 4,000 ATVs were sold by manufacturers in Saskatchewan in 2013. This does not include side-by-sides, which may equal or even surpass ATV sales.
“We could be looking at numbers upwards of 8,000 OHV riders in Saskatchewan,” said SATVA general manager John Meed.
You gotta wear the helmet
Of the eight OHV-related fatalities recorded in 2013, five were attributed to brain injuries. Helmets do save lives, so why wouldn't you wear one?
“There is an old school mentality," said Meed. "Those who never have and feel they never will wear a helmet. There are also people who simply do not realize (that) even in a side-by-side you must wear a helmet.”
In an effort to step up compliance with helmet use, Meed said Saskatchewan RCMP have become a bigger presence at rallies and events. Their presence brings awareness that wearing a helmet is the law in Saskatchewan.
Meed said SATVA is serious about protecting the ability to enjoy motorized recreation, including efforts to develop a safer trail system for motorized recreation.
“Safer riders will preserve motorized recreation," said Meed. "It’s not only about today, or this year’s statistics. It’s about the big picture.”