Safety First – Your Guide To ATVs, Four Wheelers & Other ORVs | MG Law

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Safety First – Your Guide To ATVs, Four Wheelers, And Other ORVs

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Summer is short and very sought-after for many Ontarians. After enduring many long grueling months stuck inside of homes and cars, bundled up, people are excited to get out and experience fresh air in a fun way come summer.

Therefore, many people in Ontario opt for smaller, off-road vehicles to fulfill this quota. However small, these vehicles can still have deadly results if safety is not top of mind while operating. Before getting on a recreational vehicle of any kind, it’s important to remind drivers about the rules, regulations, and safety protocols required to ensure safe fun is had by all.

Rules For Driving An ATV or ORV in Ontario 

Not unlike cars, ATVs, four-wheelers, and other recreational vehicles are also subject to laws that must always be followed.

All drivers and passengers on an ATV, ORV, or recreational vehicle must wear an approved motorcycle helmet.

The helmet must securely fasten under the chin with a proper chin strap.

ATV Or ORV Driving Rules Vary Based On Whether You Are Driving Off-Road or On-Road

ATV or ORV drivers who are driving off-road must:

  1. Be 16 years of age or older.
  2. Wear a seat belt.
  3. Travel at speeds below the posted limit (see below for more information)
  4. Hold a valid G2 or M2 licence.
  5. Carry the ATV or ORV’s registration permit, or a true copy (a photocopy of the primary document that has been endorsed by a notary).

Passengers have no restrictions when driving off-road.

ATV or ORV drivers who are driving on-road must:

  1. Carry the ATV or ORV’s registration permit, or a true copy (a photocopy of the primary document that has been endorsed by a notary).
  2. Be 12 years of age or older, unless there is direct supervision by an adult or if driving on land occupied by the owner of the ATV or ORV.

Passengers must be at least 8 years old when driving on-road and must wear a seat belt or use footrests.

Some of the rules for ATVs and other recreational vehicles are:

To drive an off-road recreational vehicle such as an ATV or four-wheeler, you must be at least 12 years of age.

If you wish to take your recreational vehicle off-road on trails, or on Crown land (government-owned property), you may require a trail permit. You must have the landowner’s permission to drive on private property.  

Not all municipalities allow ATVs or other recreational vehicles to be driven on the roads. Before driving in a new city or township, you must check their bylaws to see if they allow ORV or recreational vehicles on the roads.

You cannot drive your ATV or other recreational vehicles on 400-series highways, the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), or sections of the Trans-Canada Highway. However, you can drive them on highways 500 to 899, many 7000-series highways, and other highways with low volume traffic.

The Off-Road Vehicles Act details the full list of rules, regulations, and exceptions for off-road vehicles.

When driving your ATV or ORV along a road, you must:

  1. Have headlights and taillights on when driving at night or in bad weather. They must always be in good, working condition.
  2. If able to, you must drive on the shoulder of the road. In cases where the shoulder is not safe or not wide enough, your vehicle can drive on the travelled portion of the road.
  3. You must always drive in the same direction as traffic.

You may cross a highway in your ORV, only if:

  1. The driver has a valid driver’s licence (of any class), and they are at least 16 years of age.
  2. A rear licence plate is affixed to the vehicle, which is clearly visible and registered.
  3. The ATV or ORV is insured under a valid motor vehicle liability policy.
  4. The driver and all passengers are securely wearing an approved motorcycle helmet that is fastened under the chin with a proper chin strap.

Additionally, ATVs or ORVs must always be travelling at speeds that are lower than the posted speed limit for other vehicles (trucks and cars).

Posted Speed LimitMax. Speed Limit For ATVs or ORVs
Roads with a posted speed limit over 50 km/h50 km/h
Roads with a posted speed limit of 50 km/h or less20 km/h

Additional Safety Tips Before You Ride  

It is very important that everyone looking to drive an ATV or ORV undertakes a proper safety course to obtain the necessary training. Additionally, not all recreational vehicles operate in the same manner. Therefore, you should always read the owner’s manual prior to riding.

Before each trip, the vehicle should be inspected to ensure it has proper levels of gas, fluids, and oil. Check the brakes and tire pressure before leaving the driveway as well.

It’s important that you alert someone before heading off on your ATV or ORV. Let them know you’re leaving, how long you plan to be gone, and the approximate route you will be taking.

If you have a cellphone, bring it with you so you can call for help if needed. Make sure the battery is not low.

Different municipalities have different rules surrounding where you can drive an ATV or ORV, so be sure to check the rules for where you’re riding before you head out. Breaking a rule can result in a hefty fine.

Additional Safety Tips For Your Ride

Drive slowly and always stay alert. Do not wear headphones or look down at your phone. This includes driving based on the weather and slowing down in heavy rain, fog, or snow.

When you are crossing streets, turning corners, climbing, or descending hills, slow down and use caution.

Just like driving a vehicle or boat, driving an ATV or ORV while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs is illegal.

Be respectful of the environment around you by keeping noise levels low and driving on marked paths. This includes making sure to only drive in designated areas. Additionally, make sure your vehicle is not leaking any fluids and that you are not leaving garbage behind.

Need An ATV or ORV Accident Lawyer? We’re On Your Side!

When Ontario ATV accidents take place, you should always report your situation to the police and seek immediate medical attention. After that, you should consult with an ATV accident lawyer. Ultimately, the Ontario Insurance Act includes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), pocket motorcycles, and snowmobiles. Most recreational vehicles like these should be insured much like a standard car. The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act obligates that ATV riders should have their own vehicle insurance policy. Ontario ATV accidents can be very complicated and often take place on private property. Therefore, you should speak to our professional ATV accident lawyers today.

Our team is innately familiar with what you need to do to bring forth a claim for damages. Additionally, we’ll help you navigate the legal, insurance, and healing processes. Remember, injuries can worsen over time, and without legal counsel, you risk walking away with very little or pleading your ATV accident case alone.

Helping people recover ATV accident compensation is what we do. We’ve been doing it for years. Put MG Law in your corner and benefit from our experienced Ontario ATV accident lawyers who deal with the unique process of ATV accidents like second nature. Our team can deliver legal advice in your choice of English, French, Greek, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, and all Arabic dialects. Therefore, you can seek the ATV accident settlement you deserve in a language that is comfortable for you. With any Ontario ATV accident, timing is key. Rest assured, MG Law will make sure you have everything in order, so you can focus on what really matters – your rehabilitation and full recovery.

Ontario ATV accidents can happen at any time. If you were involved in an ATV accident and it wasn’t your fault, call MG Law at 613-730-8460 to get started today.

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