“Connecting Northern Ontario’s trails through increased on-road access will benefit local residents while boosting economic activity and expanding tourism opportunities,” said Orazietti. “By enabling municipalities to pass by-laws consistent with these new regulations our government is delivering important changes and new options to safely explore and enjoy the unique experiences our province offers.”
Beginning July 1, 2015, the following changes will be implemented:
- More types of ORVs & ATVs will be allowed enhanced on-road access, including two-up ATVs, side-by-side ATVs and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs).
- All riders – including drivers and passengers of all ages – must wear a helmet and use a seatbelt or foot rests, where applicable.
- Maximum overall width of equipment permitted, excluding mirrors, will now be 2.03 metres or 79.9 inches
Between July 1, 2015 and September 1, 2015 a public education period will be implemented to assist the public and riding community adjust to the changes. Beginning in September the full implementation will be in place.
“These new changes are great news for those of us who use off-road vehicles like side-by-sides, ATVs and UTVs,” said Don Calvert, Chairman, Sault Accessible Sports Incorporated and an off-road vehicle enthusiast. “Now individuals and families like ours can enjoy greater access to the outdoors and will see more opportunities for recreational activities in and around our community.”
Northern Ontario is home to thousands of kilometres of recreational trails making it a popular destination for riders from across Canada and the world. Consultations with a wide array of trail, municipal, industry, enforcement, health and safety stakeholders informed the changes to strike the right balance between safety, enhanced trail access and the expansion of tourism and local economic development opportunities.
Exploring Northern Ontario’s tourism and recreational opportunities is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan focuses on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.
“Our government recognizes the importance of a vibrant, sustainable and safe powersports sector in Ontario, and we support providing Ontarians with options to safely explore our vast province,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation.
- Drivers operating a permitted ORV along a road or highway must hold at least a G2 or M2 driver’s licence, and their vehicle must be registered and insured.
- Previous to July 1, 2015, only single-rider ATV’s, manufactured to carry a driver only and no passengers, could operate along certain provincial and municipal highways.
- Off-road vehicle (ORVs) is a broad term that can include single-rider, two-up and side-by-side ATVs and utility terrain vehicles.