Staying safe on all-terrain trails
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.