WHEREAS the Province of Alberta regulates the operation of off-highway vehicles under the Traffic Safety Act, Chapter T-6, RSA 2000; and
WHEREAS there is no certified off-highway vehicle operator safety program in the Province of Alberta;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Province to develop a provincially sanctioned off-highway vehicle operator safety and education program.
The request is in response to increased public concern for the safety of operators, passengers and other users of highways. There are also issues of: trespass, private property damage, vandalism, livestock disturbance, soil erosion, and impact on crops and vegetation. Non-compliance with regulations with respect to insurance, registration, and use of liquor, unauthorized operation, operating on roadways, and unsafe operation is a widespread and increasing problem. In addition, a province-wide education program would help make operators and the public more aware of appropriate OHV use. Higher fines would provide greater incentive for operators to comply with applicable laws.
The AAMDC has no current resolutions directly related to this issue. However, Resolution 3-06F deals with recreation corridors and asks the province to leave the matter of allowing recreational corridors to local municipal development processes.
See also the Fall 2008 resolutions Review of Off-Highway Vehicle Enforcement on Public Lands, Review of Off-Highway Vehicle Legislation and Review of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Initiatives.
Transportation: Alberta Transportation is responsible, under the Traffic Safety Act, for the registration of off highway vehicles and the equipment standards of off-highway vehicles. Currently, there are three non-government organizations offering safety courses to young people in the province, the Alberta Snowmobile Association, the Alberta Off-highway Vehicle Association, and the Alberta Safety Council. The Alberta Recreation Corridors Co ordinating Committee, supported by Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, and chaired by MLA Jeff Johnson, is currently studying the possibility of a co ordinated provincial approach to deliver all off road motorized safety initiatives.
Alberta Transportation is committed to working closely with key Government of Alberta departments and industry partners to increase the safety of off-highway vehicles through voluntary training programs, public education, and program coordination.
Service Alberta:Through partnerships such as the Joint Operations and Security Sub-Committee, Alberta Transportation and Service Alberta work collaboratively with respect to the Off Highway Vehicle Safety Program. Transportation is responsible for the Off-highway Vehicle Regulation and the development of any related vehicle operator safety and education programs. In accordance with the regulation, Service Alberta issues registration and licence plates for off-highway vehicles.
Tourism, Parks and Recreation: The Alberta Government recognizes that the use of motorized off-road vehicles is having serious impacts on not only the natural and manmade environments, but the recreational users themselves. Increasingly, young and inexperienced drivers have access to larger and more powerful equipment, sometimes with disastrous results.
Currently, three non-government organizations offer courses to young people in the province:
• The Alberta Snowmobile Association (ASA) provides in-school safety and education training to junior high school students. Approximately 5,000 students are reached by this means every year. The ASA has a partnership with Portage College in Lac La Biche to offer an industrial safety and certification program for snowmobile use as well.
• The Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association (AOHVA) conducts safety and educational workshops each year to approximately 2,500 students in grades 4-6. The association has five part-time instructors covering most of the province year round, and have also provided workshops at a number of other venues.
• The Alberta Safety Council (ASC), a non-government organization, teaches hands on instruction to both adults and children. ASC’s program, based on the Canadian Safety Council program adopted from the United States, is offered province-wide, with a permanent training area in the Strathcona Science Park east of Edmonton and their other safety city sites.
The Recreation Corridors Coordinating Committee under its Chair, MLA Jeff Johnson, is currently studying the possibility of a coordinated provincial approach to deliver all off road motorized safety initiatives. Such a program would include standardized safety, stewardship, and educational messages, and could involve the promotion and support of a “train the trainer” program at a provincial level.
Alberta Transportation is proposing to introduce mandatory helmet use for drivers and riders of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) when operated on public lands throughout the province. This provincial initiative aims to reduce fatalities and injuries in support of Alberta’s Traffic Safety Plan. Although the law would not apply to private property, education to Albertans on the value of consistent helmet use regardless of location would continue. The Alberta Recreation Corridor Committee is continuing its work around trail development and minimum standards.
Further, there are currently three non-governmental educational safety programs offered in various areas of the province. Therefore, the AAMDC accepts in principle that the intent of this resolution is being met.