Evansville resident says support is needed for ATV legislation changes

EVANSVILLE—A Burpee-Mills resident is encouraging all-terrain vehicle (ATV) enthusiasts to sign and forward a draft letter of support to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) calling for regulation changes to allow for the use of new and additional types of ATVs on Crown and forest access roads.

“That’s exactly what we’ve been looking for,” said Ed Wright, regarding a motion put forward by Grant Crack, MPP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell (this past November), which urged the provincial government to amend regulation 316-03 to include Type II ATVs (side by side, two-up) and allow for their use on highways under the same conditions as other off-road vehicles. Ontario Out of Doors magazine reported in its January/February 2014 edition the motion passed with strong support but pointed out there is no obligation for the Minister of Transportation to act on the motion. However, it was noted, the overwhelming support for the motion indicates that members of the Legislature are supportive of this change.

“That’s great and definitely I will be getting and signing the draft letter of support through the OFAH,” Mr. Wright told the Recorder. “I know one of our township councillors, Wayne Bailey, had taken this issue to the (Manitoulin) Community Police Advisory Committee and was told the province would not put this in place until the legislation is passed by the minister. But all it takes is one paragraph in the legislation to be changed to allow for the side by side and two up vehicles.”

“There are lots of people around that have these types of vehicles, and companies like Polaris should be after the province for the legislation changes because they (companies) continue to sell them, but you can’t use these types of vehicles on roads,” said Mr. Wright. “The province won’t allow anyone to run these vehicles on roads, and insurance companies won’t allow them on lakes.”

Ontario Out of Doors reported that for years, the OFAH, the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicles (OFATV) and others have urged the provincial government to amend the regulation to provide for new and additional types of ATVs and their uses, along with a needed amendment to the Highway Traffic Act regarding the use of ATVs on Crown and forest access roads.

With the motion put forward by Mr. Crack the OFAH, is encouraging its members to write or email the minister in support of the motion. A draft letter of support can be found at www.ofah.org/atv. The magazine release states “the minister needs to hear from as many ATV users as possible. When you end the letter or email, make sure to copy your local MPP and to the OFAH so that they too know that this issue is important to their constituents.”

“Yes, we need to try to get everybody to sign the OFAH letter of support,” added Mr. Wright.

Tom Sasvari