Stay­ing safe on all-ter­rain trails

Cape Breton Post - - Community Connections -

All-ter­rain ve­hi­cles are used year-round, but it’s safe to say there are more ATVs out and about dur­ing the sum­mer months.

The RCMP not only pa­trols road­ways but also off-road trails. Some­times check­points are set up to en­sure riders have the re­quired pa­per­work, in­sur­ance, regis­tra­tion and are driv­ing re­spon­si­bly.

Be­fore op­er­a­tors hop on an ATV and head out for a drive, there are a few things to re­mem­ber:

• While driv­ing an ATV and/ or OHV you must stay at least 7.5 me­tres off road­ways. •

Stay on marked trails ex­cept where travel across a road­way is nec­es­sary.

• If crossing a road­way, drive di­rectly across the road and do not drive on an an­gle.

• Whether rid­ing on or driv­ing an ATV, be aware of the traf­fic. En­sure other mo­torists and riders see you and know what you are do­ing.

• Obey the rules of the road and trail and re­spect posted signs, as well as the rights of other driv­ers and riders.

• Ride sober. Driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol or drugs is a crim­i­nal of­fence and can lead to se­ri­ous in­juries or even death for riders, pas­sen­gers and oth­ers. Do not drive im­paired and do not al­low oth­ers to do so.

• Al­ways wear protective cloth­ing, in­clud­ing a hel­met, gloves and eye pro­tec­tion. Hel­mets are re­quired, even if you are driv­ing in a side-by-side.

• En­sure the ATV is regis­tered and in­sured.

• All ATV op­er­a­tors un­der 16 years of age must com­plete an ap­proved safety train­ing course and be su­per­vised by some­one who is at least 19 years old.

“Even though th­ese rules and laws are in place to keep ev­ery­one safe, the RCMP re­spond to a num­ber of ATV col­li­sions, some fa­tal, each year,” said Cpl. Dal Hutchin­son, me­dia re­la­tions of­fi­cer with the Nova Sco­tia RCMP, in a news re­lease.

“The ma­jor­ity of th­ese col­li­sions are a re­sult of speed, driv­ers im­paired by drugs and/or al­co­hol and not wear­ing a hel­met. It’s im­por­tant for all ATV op­er­a­tors to drive safely and re­spon­si­bly.”

The RCMP wants ATV riders to en­joy the trails but they stress the need to be re­spon­si­ble, have fun and re­mem­ber to wear a hel­met.

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