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Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Helmet Law

Thousands of people are injured every year while riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in Alberta. According to the Injury Prevention Centre, many of those injuries involve head trauma to riders who weren’t wearing helmets.

As of May 15, 2017, CSA-compliant helmets must be worn by OHV users when riding on public land. Public land means Crown land, including areas that have been designated for public OHV use, public roadway and highway rights-of-way.

When helmets are required

Helmets are required for anyone driving, operating, riding in or on, or being towed by, an OHV. An OHV is any motorized vehicle built for cross-country travel, including:

  • dirt bikes, motorcycles, mini-bikes and related 2-wheel vehicles
  • all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  • utility terrain vehicles
  • miniature motor vehicles
  • amphibious vehicles
  • snow vehicles, including snowmobiles and snow bikes

Exemptions

Helmets are not required when using an OHV:

  • on your own property
  • on private property with permission of the owner
  • on First Nations Reserve or Metis Settlement lands
  • when performing farm and/or ranch work
  • if you wear a turban as a member of the Sikh faith, or have received an exemption from Alberta Transportation

Helmets are not required in vehicles that:

  • have manufacturer installed rollover protective structures and seat belts, which have not been modified and are being properly worn
  • meet standards for motor vehicles designed for use on a roadway and has seat belts. (e.g., unmodified 4x4 trucks, SUVs and jeeps)

Fines

The fine for not wearing a helmet is $155. The fine for wearing a helmet that is not CSA-compliant is $93. This is the same penalty as riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

CSA-compliant helmets

OHV safety helmets must comply with the same standards that exist for motorcycle helmets. The standards are:

  • CSA Standard CAN3-D230-M85, Protective Headgear in Motor Vehicle Applications;
  • Standard No. 218; Motorcycle helmets under Part 571.218 of the Code of Federal Regulations (United States), Title 49;
  • British Standards Institution Standard BS 6658: 1985, Specification for protective helmets for vehicle users;
  • Snell Memorial Foundation 2000 or 2005 or 2010 Standard For Protective Headgear, for use with Motorcycles and Other Motorized Vehicles; and
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 22-05, Uniform provisions concerning the approval of protective helmets and their visors for drivers and passengers of motorcycles and mopeds.

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