Another re­quest for ATV road use

Northumberland Today - - FRONT PAGE - VA­LERIE MAC­DON­ALD

HAMIL­TON TOWN­SHIP — There is another re­quest to al­low ATVs on some road­ways in Hamil­ton Town­ship.

Even though coun­cil re­cently de­clined to pass a by­law re­quested by the Northumberland Dis­trict ATV Rid­ers Club to over­ride the High­way Traf­fic Act al­low­ing all ter­rain ve­hi­cles to travel on roads in the town­ship, a Cobourg busi­ness­man and for­mer town­ship res­i­dent is back ask­ing for a sim­i­lar thing.

Jay Wilton of Jay’s Land­scap­ing told coun­cil­lors Tues­day that he wants a spe­cial ex­emp­tion for ATVs with snow plows.

“There seems to be a high de­mand …” Wilton said about peo­ple need­ing their drive­ways cleared, and ATVs are a good choice for his busi­ness in sub­di­vi­sions.

“I’m not talk­ing about all ATVs be­ing al­lowed on high­ways” but only those with plows, he said.

It is eas­ier and less ex­pen­sive for his win­ter-time snow-clear­ing busi­ness to use plows mounted on ATVs in sub­di­vi­sions where space is tight, he ex­plained.

“And they are not as noisy … (Clients) can sleep right through.”

A truck with snow plow is about five times the cost of a $10,000 ATV with the same equip­ment, he also said.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Wilton ex­plained that he wanted to use ATVs on road­ways in an area from Cobourg’s north­ern bound­ary (where such an ex­emp­tion al­ready ex­ists) to about a mile north of Cor­nish Hol­low Road in the town­ship where a sub­di­vi­sion is be­ing con­structed and he al­ready has clients.

His em­ploy­ees would drive the ATVs be­tween client lo­ca­tions as op­posed to be­ing trail­ered.

Wilton listed a num­ber of streets just north of Cobourg in­clud­ing For­est Hill Drive, On­tario Street and Dan­forth Road West where he wanted ATVs to be able to travel to ser­vice his clients in the town­ship.

Wilton also said he wanted per­mis­sion to drive along County Road 2 and/or the Dale Road be­tween the town­ship and Port Hope – but Mayor Mark Lovshin ex­plained that was a county road­way, and he would need au­tho­riza­tion from Northumberland County.

“Those are busy roads … es­pe­cially in a snow­storm,” Coun­cil­lor Bill Cane com­mented.

Coun­cil­lor Scott Jibb said it would be hard to po­lice the sit­u­a­tion.

Wilton coun­tered that his em­ploy­ees would only be rid­ing with plows on their ATVs be­tween client lo­ca­tions, and they would be in­sured, li­cenced and op­er­a­tors would wear the re­quired hel­mets.

If po­lice had an is­sue, it would be easy to con­tact his com­pany, he stressed.

The town­ship coun­cil­lors have al­ready heard ar­gu­ments against al­low­ing ATVs on road­ways, in­clud­ing in­sur­ance li­a­bil­ity is­sues, and peo­ple who have op­posed such a by­law thought the mat­ter was set­tled, Lovshin said.

“If we al­lowed you to do it, it would have to be a blan­ket (per­mis­sion) for snow re­moval in the town­ship.”

The mayor said with the spe­cial gov­ern­ment day coun­cil next week tak­ing place at Cold Springs Hall at 1 p.m., coun­cil would not con­sider this re­quest un­til Novem­ber.

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