Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV)

Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV)

October 03, 2007 11:30 ET

COHV Launches Multi-Media Youth ATV Safety Teaching Tools

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2007) - The Canadian Off-Highway Vehicles Distributors Council (COHV) and the All-Terrain Vehicles Federation of New Brunswick (NBATV) introduced the new Adventure Trails interactive CD and activity book to be used by ATV Clubs, law enforcement, safety organizations, schools and the general public as the most innovative and effective way to teach young ATV riders the rules around riding safely.

"Studies show that with proper legislation including mandatory size limitations and adult supervision, it is safe and it is responsible to allow youth to ride age appropriate youth-sized ATV's and off-road motorcycles," stated Bob Ramsay, President of the COHV. "The introduction of this CD and activity book is just one more tool for us to help reach our youth and their parents in our efforts to ensure that everyone enjoys safe family recreation."

Jacques Poirier, General Manager of the NBATV knows that training is key to safe riding, which is why the NBATV is actively involved in the formation of a Provincial ATV trail system and rider safety awareness programs that focus on grass roots education at the classroom level.

"It is important to teach our youth about ATV safety before they are old enough to ride adult size machines," says Poirier. "This is why we have committed to travel throughout New Brunswick, with our trailer and youth-size ATVs, offering free training courses to kids under 16 years-old, whose parents want them to be properly trained. The Adventure Trails interactive CD and activity books will give us another great tool to hand out as the NBATV continues visiting exhibitions, fairs and tradeshows across the province."

Over the past few years there has been a debate over whether it is better to ban youth from riding age-appropriate ATVs or for government to introduce legislation around education, training and mandatory supervision requirements.

A detailed statistical analysis by Heiden Associates, a product safety and economic consulting firm in the U.S.A. found that ATV safety legislation in Kentucky, New Jersey and Texas resulted in significant improvements in youth safety.

In Kentucky, the law prohibits the operation of an ATV with an engine size greater than 90cc by a child under the age of 16. The New Jersey law prohibits operation of an ATV on public lands by a child under the age of 14 and operation of an ATV over 90cc on public lands by a person under 16. The Texas law requires adult supervision of all ATV operators under the age of 14.

The improvement in safety ranged from a high of 78.95 percent to a low of 46.34 percent. Clearly a combination of these regulations would be the most effective way to improve youth safety. The medical community, safety experts, parents, rider federations, governments and the industry all want the same thing, to maximize safety and continue to reduce injuries and fatalities.

While more research may be needed, it is becoming clear that banning youth from riding is less effective than implementing ATV youth size restrictions, mandatory education, training and adult supervision. Go to for the on-site view of the CD.


- In the past there was very little comparative data on whether a complete ban or government legislated operator requirements, education and training were the most effective way to deal with this issue. Recently, an analysis by Heiden Associates, a product safety and economic consulting firm based in the U.S.A. found that safety legislation can have a significant impact on the reduction in ATV injuries and fatalities involving youth under 16 years of age.

- So what did the Heiden Associates preliminary research suggest? When they examined fatality rates in three states (Kentucky, New Jersey and Texas) that enacted safety legislation to regulate the use of ATVs by children under the age of 16, they determined there was a significant reduction in injury.

- "Using the most recent data now available, the percent of fatalities in Kentucky sustained by riders under 12 has declined from 26 percent pre-law to 7 percent after the law was enacted." -- a decrease of 73.07 percent. "The percent of fatalities for riders under 16 declined from 55 percent to 19 percent after the law." -- a decrease of 65.45 percent. "Both results are statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level."

- "In New Jersey, the fraction of fatalities in the state involving riders under 14 declined from 19 percent to 4 percent. The decrease in fatalities involving riders under 16 (went) from 31 percent to 12 percent (which) was statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level." Those results are declines of 78.95 percent and 61.29 percent respectively.

- "In Texas, the percent of fatalities to riders under 14 declined from 41 percent pre-law to 22 percent after the law. The result in Texas is also statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level." The reduction in Texas was 46.34 percent.

- Results achieved by the three states where safety regulations were implemented is very strong evidence that safety and education legislation, proposed by parents and safety experts, could result in very significant improvements in youth safety if provincial governments in Canada were to implement similar regulations.

The Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV), originally founded in 1984, is a national, non-profit, trade association, which represents the responsible interests of the major OHV manufacturers, distributors and retail outlets of OHV-related products and services, and individual owners and riders of off-highway vehicles in Canada.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV)
    Jo-Anne Farquhar
    Manager of Communications
    (416) 491-4439 or Toll Free: 1-877-470-2288
    New Brunswick All Terrain Vehicles Federation Inc.
    Jacques Poirier
    General Manager
    (506) 472-5130 or Toll Free: 1-888-847-1100