In honour of ATV safety week, the General Manager of the Ontario Federation of All-Terrain Vehicles (OFATV) Denise Erickson says what you ride is important to your safety.

The most pressing safety issue according to Erickson is that a lot of collisions that happen on ATVs are the result of inexperienced drivers riding machines that are too powerful for them.

This is why the OFATV is focusing on safety training.

Erickson says Driving recreational vehicles require skills that people weren’t born with. With training, good habits will be reinforced and make it safe for yourself and other people. If you are trained and know the rules, Erickson says riders will know how to react, what to do, and when to stop in any situation.

Erickson adds to be wary of false information. With so many new riders and so much conflicting material, safety misinformation online can be a major issue. Instead of turning to social media and asking their questions, she urges new riders to go to the OFATV website, look on QuadOn map, or call your OPP or municipal office.

Erickson would also like to see mandatory training in Ontario. Currently, no training is needed in Ontario to operate ATVs, although there are laws in place in Quebec, New Brunswick and PEI.

With the sport growing, Erickson foresees a lot of issues and accidents that are unnecessary.

Written by Trevor Smith-Millar