The Chief Coroner for Ontario has reported a number of drivers and riders of adult ATVs (all terrain vehicles), particularly children, have high rates of injury and death compared to other off-road vehicle types due to the following reasons:

  • full-size ATVs are large, heavy, and powerful machines that require strength, balance, dexterity, and judgment which children have not yet developed;
  • children are at risk of driving too fast or
  • driving onto uneven ground, losing control of the machine, and being thrown from the vehicle or crushed in a rollover; the resulting grief for the family is unimaginable.

These are preventable deaths.

Therefore, the Office of the Chief Coroner reminds the public that ATVs pose dangers to children under the age of 16.

Both past and present recommendations from the Office of the Chief Coroner include:

  • Children under the age of 16 should not operate ATVs intended for adults
  • Mandatory approved safety training
  • Increased public education regarding the safe operation of ATVs
  • Permission to drive an ATV on approved trails only from age 12 – 16
  • Complete a rider safety course in their area or through the Canada Safety Council
  • Parents, children and teens should be aware of the risk of injury or death when riding an ATV, especially in the absence of adult supervision
Public Safety Reminder: All Terrain Vehicles and Children; Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario

Public Safety Reminder: All Terrain Vehicles and Children; Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario

Ontario, Canada: Newsroom

News Release

Public Safety Reminder from the Chief Coroner of Ontario: ATVs and Children

August 30, 2011 9:30 AM

A 10-year-old boy was recently killed while riding an adult all terrain vehicle (ATV) alone in Northern Ontario.

There have been a number of similar deaths this summer, and the Office of the Chief Coroner reminds the public that ATVs pose dangers to children under the age of 16.

A number of medical studies have found that drivers and riders of ATVs, particularly children, have high rates of injury and death compared to other off-road vehicle types. Full-size ATVs are large, heavy, and powerful machines that require strength, balance, dexterity, and judgment which children have not yet developed. Children are at risk of driving too fast or driving onto uneven ground, losing control of the machine, and being thrown from the vehicle or crushed in a rollover. The resulting grief for the family is unimaginable.

A coroner’s inquest in 2005 examined the death of a seven-year-old boy who died while driving an ATV.  Recommendations at that time included mandatory approved safety training, increased public education regarding the safe operation of ATVs, and permission to drive an ATV on approved trails only from age 12 – 16.  These are equally applicable today.

All ATV drivers should complete a rider safety course in their area or through the Canada Safety Council, and parents, children and teens should be aware of the risk of injury or death when riding an ATV, especially in the absence of adult supervision.

These are preventable deaths. The recommendation from the Office of the Chief Coroner is that children under the age of 16 should not operate ATVs intended for adults.

CONTACTS

  • Dr. Andrew McCallum
    Chief Coroner for Ontario, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
    416-314-4008

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
ontario.ca/safety

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