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OPP Warn Numbers Of ATV Deaths In Ontario Highest Since 2009

The Ontario Provincial Police have sounded the alarm over a disturbing spike in ATV fatalities to this point in 2015.
Last year at this time, one person had died in an all-terrain vehicle crash in Ontario Provincial Police jurisdiction. By contrast, there have been nine fatalities in OPP jurisdiction in 2015 and the year isn’t even half over.
“This spike in fatalities serves as a harsh reminder that unsafe off-roading keeps costing riders of all ages their lives, leaving families devastated and struggling to understand why their loved ones did not stay safe while out riding,” Superintendent Chuck Cox, commander of the OPP’s Highway Safety Division, said Tuesday in a news release.
Among the dead are a nine-year-old boy and a 17-year-old youth. The nine-year-old was at the controls of the ATV when it crashed. In a separate crash, the 17-year-old was a passenger.
The OPP are raising the alarm because carelessness and law-breaking are at the root of the body count. Alcohol has been involved in five of the fatalities while speed was cited as a factor in three. Five of the deceased were not wearing a helmet.
“With many months remaining in the off-roading season, the OPP are urging off-road vehicle enthusiasts to wear a helmet every time – regardless of how short a ride you plan on taking,” the OPP said in a news release. “Don’t include alcohol or drugs in an off-road vehicle outing and keep your speed under control so that you don’t lose control of your vehicle.”
Police in Haldimand and Norfolk have had their share of ATV issues to deal with so far this year. There have been no fatalities but there have been serious injuries.
In January, a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl were seriously injured when the ATV they were riding struck a culvert on First Line Road in Six Nations. Both were thrown from the vehicle upon impact. It was later determined that the 800cc CanAm ATV they were riding had been reported stolen in Haldimand County.
In February, Haldimand OPP investigated an ATV crash on Argyle Street in Caledonia. The 24-year-old Haldimand man at the controls of the CanAm ATV was thrown from the machine. The fact he was not wearing a helmet aggravated his injuries.
More recently, the province’s Special Investigations Unit was called in after an ATV rider was seriously injured in May following a traffic stop on the East Quarter Line Road of the former Windham Township.
As the investigating officer was exiting his cruiser, the unidentified driver of the ATV put the machine into reverse. The rider suffered serious injuries when the ATV rolled in the intersection of East Quarter Line Road and Windham Centre Road.
The SIU is called in to investigate anytime someone is injured or killed during an interaction with a police officer in Ontario.
Monte Sonnenberg

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