All-terrain vehicle policy in Canada: Gaps and opportunities for injury prevention

Author(s): Fuselli, Cowle

Slidedeck Presentation:

ATV Project-CARSP2022



On average 100 Canadians are killed and more than 2,000 are hospitalized each year due to all-terrain vehicle (ATV) injuries. Rollovers are the top mechanism of death and risk factors for injury include age, sex, vehicle size, terrain conditions, and risky operator behaviours. Evidence from Canadian and international jurisdictions points to the effectiveness of policy for reducing ATV injuries and deaths, particularly for head injuries and paediatic injuries. Research evidence also shows the important role of enforcement for the success of legislative interventions. ATV legislation varies by province and territory, for example in terms of minimum age, equipment and training requirements. There is an opportunity to strengthen provincial/territorial laws and improve pan-Canadian harmonization through strategic, collective outreach to policymakers.


Our objectives were to increase knowledge of the ATV issue, foster valuable inter-provincial and territorial collaboration and provide evidence to inform policy change. The planned outputs were a pan-Canadian legislation scan, policy recommendations, and outreach to policymakers at all levels.

Target Group:

Policymakers at all levels, professionals interested in ATV policy, and professionals interested in preventing ATV-related injuries and deaths.


We conducted a scan of provincial and territorial ATV legislation and enforcement, identifying points of harmonization and difference across jurisdictions. We reviewed injury data, risk factors, position statements, and recommendations (e.g., coroner inquest recommendations) to inform policy discussions. We convened a multi-sector group of stakeholders including trauma/health care, injury prevention, enforcement, industry, and ATV rider associations. Over four virtual meetings, the group identified policy priorities and matched these to known risk factors and evidence of effectiveness to produce recommendations. Recommendations were compared to existing legislation to develop an appropriate outreach strategy for each province and territory.


This work produced a pan-Canadian scan of ATV legislation and its enforcement and a set of provincial/territorial policy recommendations. High priority policy areas included age of operation, minimum age of passengers, adult supervision, mandatory training, mandatory equipment use (e.g. helmets), licensing and registration. We also identified areas requiring further exploration, such as recommendations on the use of crush protection devices. The information was shared with policymakers through outreach activities and with other professionals. A key learning from this project was that there is considerable agreement across sectors on many policy priorities. Involvement of multi-sector stakeholders was critically important as it provided a more holistic view of the issue and access to valuable knowledge and expertise. Areas requiring further exploration will be brought forward. Additional opportunities for vehicle design and manufacturing regulations at the federal level are being considered.