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Safety Tips

Preventing crime and maintaining safe communities is everyone's responsibility. By practising the following personal and property safety tips, you can help reduce the incidents of crime and keep your community safe.


ATV Safety

ATV accidents can cause broken bones, sprains, internal injuries and in some cases, even death. It’s important to take care of your safety when riding these vehicles. Take precautions to protect yourself from injury, as well as other people riding in the same area as you. Watch your speed and be alert to avoid collisions with rocks, trees and other motorists.

Please click here to view our ATV safety video.


• Carry a cellphone with you while riding
• Plan your route
• Tell a friend where you plan to go and when you plan to return

Rules of the Road:

The recommendation from the Office of the Chief Coroner is that children under the age of 16 should not operate ATVs intended for adults.

• Children under 12 years of age are not permitted to drive an ATV except on land occupied by the vehicle owner or under close supervision of an adult.
• Never allow a passenger on your ATV. A passenger can throw the vehicle's balance off and cause injury.
• You must have a valid permit for your ATV and a number plate displayed on the vehicle.
• You must have insurance on your ATV because it is a motorized vehicle. You must be able to show the insurance to a police officer if requested,
• If you lend your ATV to another person, you are liable for any damages or injuries if an accident should occur,
• Under the Highway Traffic Act, you must wear an approved safety helmet securely strapped under the chin,
• The owner or occupier of the property you are using may stop any person riding an ATV and you must identify yourself with your name and address. A police officer may also stop any person riding an ATV.


• ATVs are the fastest growing recreational vehicle on the market.
• In 2007 there were 258 emergency room visits to Durham Region hospitals for ATV related injuries
• The rate of off-road motor vehicle injuries for Durham Region residents is far greater than the provincial average.
• in 2002, an 18-year-old Whitby man and an eight-year-old Pickering youth died in separate, unrelated ATV accidents in Durham Region,
• In 2003, a 42-year-old man was seriously injured and his 11-year-old daughter hurt in an ATV accident in Ganaraska Forest. A three-year-old King Township boy was also killed that year while riding with his family in the Aurora area.

Where to Ride:

• ATVs can only be legally driven in Durham Region on two occasions:
1. On private property with prior consent of the property owner,
2. On designated trails. There is only one legally designated trail in Durham Region – in the Ganaraska Forest in Clarington. To use the trail in the Ganaraska Forest, you must have a valid trail permit.
You are not allowed to ride ATVs on any public road or road allowance unless the municipality has passed a consenting by-law. To date, only one municipality in Durham Regions has passed such a by-law. The Township of Brock passed a by-law to permit the operation of ATVs on open and maintained Township roads between December 1st and March 31st the following year
• Police can charge riders driving on highways and rights-of-way under the Highway Traffic Act Section IV Reg. 316/03.

For more information on ATV safe riding, contact the Durham Region Health Department at 1-800-841-2729, ext. 3241