RULES FOR OPERATION OF MOTORIZED VEHICLES IN THE TOWNSHIP OF TINY BACKGROUND
On May 28, 2007, Council discussed a number of concerns relative to ATV’s and other motorized vehicles operating on municipal roads, municipal beaches and the Tiny Trail system. More specifically, the concerns were with respect to damage that these vehicles have caused in the Township as well as safety concerns due to erratic driving. At the meeting, Council directed that Municipal Law Enforcement Staff significantly increase patrol hours in 2007 and that enforcement officers have zero tolerance regarding illegal operation of motorized vehicles in the Township. In essence, this means that individuals who operate motorized vehicles contrary to the Township’s By-laws will be charged.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What are the current laws regulating ATV’s/Motorized Vehicles?
There are three applicable pieces of legislation which are as follows:
- Highway Traffic Act. Since Council of the Township has not passed a by-law permitting ATV’s in the Township, they are prohibited from operating on any portion of a municipal road allowance (i.e. includes the shoulder of the road). The set fine amount for operating an ATV on the road allowance is $110.00. Note: enforcement of this restriction is solely in the jurisdiction of the Ontario Provincial Police. In other words, Municipal Law Enforcement Officers have no authority to investigate or enforce this prohibition. Note: on July 31, 2003, a new regulation of the Highway Traffic Act (O.Reg. 316/03) came into effect pertaining to the operation of off-road vehicles (orvs) on highways. Please see Schedule “A” for some additional information regarding this regulation.
Township of Tiny By-law No. 12-032. This by-law prohibits all motorized vehicles (including ATV’s) from operating on all municipal lands such as parks and right-ofways. The set fine for operating an ATV or other motorized machine contrary to this by-law is $125.00. For more serious motorized vehicle offences, the fine imposed can be up to $5000.00.
- Township of Tiny By-law No. 03-053. This by-law prohibits ATV’s from operating on the Tiny Trail without first obtaining an annual ATV permit from the Township. Other motorized machines such as dirt-bikes are outright prohibited from operating on the Tiny Trail. The set fine for an ATV operating on the Tiny Trail (without a permit), or for another motorized vehicle such as a dirt-bike operating on the trail is $125.00. For more serious motorized vehicle offences on the Tiny Trail, the fine can be up to $5000.00.
Are there any other Rules that I should be aware of before Operating an ATV on the Tiny Trail?
Permits. An annual permit must be obtained (at the Township office) in order to operate an ATV on the Tiny Trail. The cost for the permit is currently $25.00. Natural features throughout the Tiny Trail are not to be removed, destroyed or otherwise disturbed without written consent of the Township.
Other ATV rules:
Non-motorized users have the right-of-way at all times;
- Expect and respect trail users;
- Keep to the right to allow other users to pass on the left;
Maximum speed permitted through the trail is 50 km/hour unless otherwise posted;
Respect neighbouring private property by staying on the Tiny Trail. Do not make new trails or ride on unmarked and authorized trails;
- Avoid excessive noise;
If ATV produces tracks over ½” deep, do not use the Tiny Trail. This will occur most frequently in the Spring and Fall or after a heavy rain;
Obey all barricades and closures along the Tiny Trail;
Affix permit on ATV in a conspicuous place;
- Obey all Federal, Provincial and Municipal regulations pertaining to the operation of the ATV;
- Permit is valid for the calendar year in which it is issued. Permit is not valid during winter grooming operations, usually from November 30th to April 30th.
What happens if I fail to comply with the above ATV rules?
In addition to being charged, failure to comply may result in the ATV permit being revoked at the user’s expense. Reporting Illegal Operation of Motorized Vehicles in the Township as indicated above, the Ontario Provincial Police have full jurisdiction regarding ATV’s and other motorized machines operating on the roads and therefore they should be contacted to report violations at 1-888-310-1122.
When ATV’s, or other motorized vehicles are operating on municipal beaches, rights of ways and the Tiny Trail System, the Municipal Law Enforcement Division should be contacted at (705) 526-4136 to investigate. They have the authority to lay charges if a motorized vehicle is
operating contrary to the Township’s By-laws. Please note that the contact number is used both during regular office hours as well as after hours. The Ontario Provincial Police will investigate incidents of motorized vehicles operating contrary to the Township’s by-laws when by-law staff are not available. In this case, the Ontario Provincial Police generally forward the occurrence to the Municipal Law Enforcement
Division to be followed up on.
O. Reg. 316/03 allows off-road vehicles (orvs) to have more access to the shoulder and paved portions of some Ontario highways. Provincial highways that are excluded include the 400 series and the QEW. This new regulation, however, applies exclusively to one category of orv referred to as an “all-terrain vehicle” (ATV). An ATV means an off-road vehicle that:
(a) has four wheels, the tires of which are all in contact with the ground;
(b) has steering handlebars;
(c) has a seat that is designed to be straddled by the driver, and;
(d) is designed to carry a driver only and no passengers.
The new regulation therefore applies to a typical four wheeler, but does not apply to other types of orvs such as mini-bikes, dirt bikes and moto-cross bikes.
Other applicable requirements:
Although the regulation allows the operation of an ATV on some provincial highways, there are a number of applicable requirements which must be adhered to which are as follows:
Permit and Insurance required;
- Driver’s license of Class G2 or M2 or higher;
- Helmet required;
- Speed limit of no greater than 20 km/hr in a 50 km/hr zone;
- Speed limit of no greater than 50 km/hr in a zone greater than 50 km/hr;
- Operate on shoulder of road, in same direction as traffic;
- If no shoulder or shoulder obstructed, operate on roadway portion;
- Shall not be driven in construction zone or on a closed highway.
The new regulation has also given municipalities the authority to establish through a by-law which municipal highways (if any), where on the highway, time of day and season that orvs are allowed access to their highways. A municipality can also set speed limits that are lower than those set out in the regulation. In the absence of a municipal by-law therefore, ATVs are not permitted to drive on the Township’s highways.
It should be noted that there are certain exemptions pertaining to ATVs operating on the majority of highways (provincial and municipal).
The exemptions are as follows:
- Persons driving an off-road vehicle directly across a highway;
- Farmers and licensed trappers;
- Public works employees which includes fire, ambulance, police, municipal, hydro, telephone and rail workers.
Based on the above, this means that ATVs that are operating on the Tiny Trails that reach a concession road are permitted to cross it in order for the vehicle to continue along the trail.