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Ontario Quad Safety Council launches new online training program

In an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities amongst young ATV riders, a group of industry players joined forces to launch online rider safety training for youth today. Ready to RideON is an Ontario Quad Safety Council program developed in partnership with the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs (OFATV), Yamaha Motor Canada, and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).

“ATV riding is not just a fun activity for young riders who get a taste of independence and freedom on the trails, but it’s a necessity for some youth who rely on the machines for farm work or transportation, particularly in rural areas,” says Shari Black, executive director of the OFATV. “We know that helping these young riders build confidence and skills is key to mitigating accidents across the province. As a group of industry leaders, we felt compelled to build programming that would do just that.”

ATV riding is increasingly popular in Ontario, particularly as weather patterns change and trails become accessible for longer periods throughout the year. Currently, youth aged 12 to 15 are allowed to ride on trails in Ontario, and no rider training or rider safety education is required. ATV’s, which can weigh more than 600 pounds and travel at more than 100 kph (62 mph), pose a serious risk to inexperienced riders and the people around them.

Currently, youth aged 12 to 15 are allowed to ride on trails in Ontario, and no rider training or rider safety education is required. Ready to RideON is hoping to change that. (Photo: Ready to RideON)

SickKids reported 181 cases of serious and/or fatal ATV-related injuries, including six deaths, in 2018. Children aged 10 to 14 represented nearly half (45.3%) of all cases. The SickKids study also revealed that the likelihood of injury and death on ATVs is lower in provinces where safety training is legislated for youth, demonstrating the importance of programs like Ready to RideON.

Of course, vigilance around ATV use should not be limited to youth. According to reports from the Ontario Provincial Police, in Ontario alone, 151 people died and more than 1,500 suffered ATV or Side-by-Side injuries between 2016 and 2022. Loss of control is the number one cause of accidents.

”Driving positive change is key for us at BRP and we strongly believe that it starts with education through real actions,” adds Elsa Vilarinho, director, global brand strategy, Can-Am at BRP. “We are pleased to partner with the OFATV as part of our Responsible Rider program and share a training accessible for youth to promote safe riding.”

Delaney Brogan, marketing coordinator at Yamaha Motors Canada, another Ready to RideON program partner, adds: “An educational program like this will unlock opportunities not just for young riders, but for all newcomers to the sport. Getting to watch it all come together has been a pleasure and we at Yamaha can’t wait to see the impact this program will make.”

Ready to RideON is a $40, two-hour online program designed for 12 to 15-year-olds in Ontario. It provides a solid foundation in all aspects of ATV operation from parts and functions of a machine to riding responsibly on Ontario’s trails.

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