Recreation Workers Who Use ATV’s or UTV’s Must Know the Rules

ORFA: The use of ATV’s and UTV’s in recreational grounds maintenance activities have become standard equipment for many members. It is important that all persons given access know and comply with all applicable rules of the road. And that they are provided adequate training on how to safely operate the equipment – merely handing over the keys is deemed unacceptable.

Sergeant Steve Mihills, provincial trainer with the Snowmobile, ATV and Vessel Enforcement (SAVE) unit from the Orillia detachment of the OPP provides the following information on ATV safety and enforcement. Last July, changes to the Highway Traffic Act included Ontario Regulation 316-03, which involves the use of the side of roads in Ontario where the governing body over the road has passed a bylaw permitting this use. Over half a million ATVs are in use in Ontario today, making it necessary to regulate the use of these motorized vehicles. Preventing ATV accidents and rollovers starts with smart riding and a clear understanding of hazards and safety precautions, police say. Police say riders should never ride beyond their skill level, avoid going sideways across a slope to avoid tipping.

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services states that ATV drivers must be properly trained in basic operation and safety. Drivers must know how safely climb hills in low gear with weight redistribution to prevent potential back flips.

    • Everyone who is permitted to drive an ATV on the road must be 16 years of age or older with a valid G2 or M2 license or greater. Operators can be fined $5,000 for operating an ATV without insurance. Additional fines can total an extra $1,000
    • Approved (DOT) motorcycle helmets are required (for drivers and passengers) – sharing of this PPE needs carefully consideration to ensure worker health is maintained
    • Eye protection and protective clothing and footwear are recommended
    • “Each ATV and driver must be licensed, registered, plated and insured. I can’t stress this enough. No exceptions.” Common ATV hazards include improper use of helmets, inadequate training or supervision, carrying passengers, instability of large loads, low pressure tires, ease of rollovers, poorly maintained equipment and older, unsafe ATV models.
Farmers are permitted to drive ATVs on the shoulder or to the right-hand side of the road as safely as possible in the same direction of traffic. The rules of the road are applicable to any motorized vehicle including ATVs. Farmers must be in the act of farming, traveling from farm to farm or field to field for agricultural purposes. “In other word’s you can’t drive to your local dealership for parts or visit a neighbour,” Mihills said.

For more information on ATV safety, the Highway Traffic Act, or Regulation 316-03, go to ontario.ca/laws, ofatv.ca, katva.ca, otr.ca, ofsc.ca or municipal websites

Source: The Wellington Advertiser