Fabulous fall weather brings reminder to hunters, ATV owners to play safe
ORILLIA – It’s almost hard to tell which season it is, what with the weather and the highways sending us two and sometimes three conflicting messages at the same time.
One day – like Saturday – it’s unseasonally hot (not that we’re complaining, as it was arguably the best day of fall) and on Sunday it was fall; but then it was back to late summer or early spring-like weather.
We’ve got to be thankful not only for bountiful harvests but equally fine weather for walking and working in the yard.
On the roads, trailers are towing boats both north and south, and snowmobiles headed for snow.
And ATVs are being hauled to where moose and deer seasons are open or will be depending on the area and – if you’re lucky enough to have the right tag.
Further north, moose season has already begun and where they are more plentiful, cow licences aren’t necessary as the MNR believes the wolves will get them if the hunters don’t
In Muskoka only 54 moose tags are issued each year east of Hwy. 11.
But it’s the four-wheelers that police are targetting with their safety campaign this fall.
They say that as of Thanksgiving outdoor enthusiasts will be enjoying the autumn colours and the OPP want to see a safe fall. One that is free from tragedy on roadways, waterways and trails, they say in a news release.
So expect to see an increased police presence within the OPP Central Region to ensure that this takes place.
They note one disturbing trend that appears to consistent is the number of crashes and unnecessary collisions involving All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s).
So far this year, 15 people (compared to 10 at this time last year) have lost their lives in ATV related collisions throughout OPP patrolled areas throughout Ontario and three have been killed in Central Region.
They remind owners that ATVs are prohibited from all roadways in Ontario unless the municipality has passed a bylaw to make an exception to this rule.
And that ATV operators must remember that:
· Drivers must hold a valid G2 or greater drivers licence (if operated on roadways where allowed)
· All riders must wear an approved helmet.
· Operator must drive the ATV on the far right hand side of the roadway.
· 20 km/h is the maximum speed an ATV can travel on roads with a posted speed limit of 50 km/h or less.
· Operator shall operate the ATV at a speed of one half of the posted limit up to a maximum speed of 50km/h.
· Impaired Operation – drinking and driving while operating an ATV is a criminal offence and carries the same penalties as operating a vehicle
· ATV’s are prohibited from travelling along or across Highway 400 series highways.
· Ownership – vehicle must be registered and proof of same must be produced at the trailside.
· ATV owner must have liability insurance and surrender proof upon request.
· Licence Plate – the vehicle must have a properly displayed off-road licence plate
· Age – must be at least 12 years of age (when operating on trails unsupervised).
· An ATV travelling along a road must have its headlights and tail lights on.
Remember to always operate your ATV with an approved helmet, eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirt or jacket. Ignorance of the law is no excuse; please follow these safety tips in order to maximize the enjoyment of your ATV:
Safety Tips for ATV Riders:
· Ride off-road only, never on public roads
· Ride with others – never alone
· Always supervise youngsters
· Ride sober – no alcohol or drugs
· Respect the environment – don’t litter
· Be courteous to all you meet
· Ride within your capabilities
· Respect riding trail and area rules
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