With the warm weather approaching, many residents of Durham Region are gearing up to hit the trails on their ATVs.
Durham Regional Police 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.
ATVs are the fastest growing recreational vehicle on the market and the rate of off-road motor vehicle injuries in Durham Region is greater than the provincial average. Please keep in mind some important safety and legal considerations before starting your engines.
Important tips for ATV riding:
*Children 12 and under 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
For Your Safety:
*Under the Highway Traffic Act, you must wear an approved safety helmet securely strapped under the chin
*Wear the appropriate gear, including eye protection, long shirt and pants, gloves and boots
*Ride with another machine when possible, especially in remote areas
*Have a safety kit on board, including a flare, flashlight, map and compass
*Make sure to carry a cell phone with you while you ride
*Tell someone where you plan to go and when you plan to return
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. Check out our ATV Safety Video here .
ATV Safety (JPG file, 1,304.8K bytes)