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  ATV Operators Reminded to Ride Safely This Season

May 12, 2009 12:53 ET

With the warm weather upon us many residents of Durham Region are gearing up to hit the trails on their ATVs.

Durham Regional Police and the Durham Region ATV Safety Coalition would like to remind all riders that a safe and enjoyable All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) season begins with knowing the rules of the road, including permits, safety equipment, designated ATV trails and Highway Traffic Act legislation.

To demonstrate the importance of being a responsible ATV rider, the coalition held a media event May 12, 2009 in the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority. A “mock” rescue occurred, involving an experienced rider coming across an unprepared rider in trouble.

The Durham Regional Police Service, Durham Emergency Medical Services and Clarington Fire and Emergency Services arrived to perform the rescue and address how to be prepared and prevent injuries. Regional and municipal officials were also present to address the group and answer questions.

Important tips to safe ATV riding include:

•ride with another machine, especially in remote areas
•wear the appropriate gear, including a helmet, eye protection, long shirt and pants, gloves and boots
•have a safety kit on board, including a flare, flashlight, map and compass
•have a GPS system or cell phone so a call for assistance can be made
•take a safety course and learn to ride from an expert
•know your operator’s manual and ensure that children under age sixteen are not using adult size machines

Where to Ride:

ATVs can be legally driven on private property, with prior consent from the property owner, and on designated trails. There is only one legally designated trail system in Durham Region - in the Ganaraska Forest in Clarington and you must have a valid trail permit.

To date, only one municipality in Durham Region has passed a by-law allowing access to local roads. The Township of Brock passed a by-law to permit the operation of ATVs on open and maintained Township roads between December 1 and March 31. Police can charge riders driving on highways and rights-of-way under Reg. 316/03 of the Highway Traffic Act.

Riding can be fun and safe, but you must do it responsibly. In 2007 there were 258 emergency room visits to Durham Region hospitals for ATV related injuries (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2007).

For more information on safe ATV riding practices or the Durham Region ATV Safety Coalition visit or or call the Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 (1-800-841-2729).

Below are attached files.
atv thumb (JPG file, 43.8K bytes)
ATV Event Unprepared Rider (JPG file, 192.7K bytes)
ATV Event Proper Equipment (JPG file, 104.5K bytes)