Youth succumbs to his injuries following dirt bike crash

A boy has died following a dirt bike crash Friday evening.

12-year-old was not wearing a helmet at time of collision

A young boy has died following after a dirt bike crash in Calgary Friday evening.

Just after 7 p.m. MT, the 12-year-old was riding his dirt bike in an alley that crosses 10A Street S.W. He drove the dirt bike out of the alley and was hit by an Acura MDX, driven by a 16-year-old male.

The boy, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected off the bike and struck a parked vehicle.

He was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries. However, late Saturday night, Calgary Police confirmed that he succumbed to his injuries

Police say alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in the collision.

While most other provinces and territories require riders to wear helmets on ATVs and dirt bikes, Alberta does not.

Under provincial law, dirt bikes fall under the category of off-road vehicles, which do not require users to wear helmets.

The power bicycle and small vehicle categories do require users to wear helmets.

Wide public support for helmets

There have been several efforts over the past six years to get the government to introduce mandatory helmet legislation.

In 2008, then-Transportation Minister Luke Oullette promised to introduce legislation by spring 2009.

However, that legislation was delayed and despite wide public support, no law has been tabled since.

Alberta Transportation commissioned a poll in 2008 that found 84 per cent of Albertans supported a mandatory helmet-use law.

That report was shelved and the current Transportation Minister, Ric McIver, has said that ATV safety legislation is not a priority.

"I guess there are other priorities we are dealing with and I haven't been convinced yet that we need ATV legislation," McIver said.

In a landmark University of Calgary study on ATV accidents,  researchers suggested that the number of injuries and deaths related to their use will continue to rise unless the Alberta government enacts safety laws, such as mandatory helmet-use laws.

It analyzed 10 years worth of data from hospitals across the province. In that 10-year span, there were 459 serious trauma cases, including such injuries as broken spines, broken necks and serious head injuries. There were 79 deaths and the estimated cost to the healthcare system was about $6.5-million.

Those figures do not include such injuries as smashed faces, broken limbs or cuts.

Only Alberta and Yukon do not have mandatory helmet laws for ATV and dirt bike riders.

Alberta was also one of the last provinces to enact mandatory seatbelt safety laws in 1987 — those laws now have more than 90 per cent compliance.