Wey­mouth part of ATV pi­lot pro­gram

Prov­ince fi­nally launch­ing off-high­way ve­hi­cle pi­lot in six com­mu­ni­ties

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - TINA COMEAU DIG­BY­COURIER.CA

Nova Sco­tia is launch­ing a pi­lot project, ef­fec­tive now, in six com­mu­ni­ties to en­hance trail con­nec­tions for off-high­way ve­hi­cles and Wey­mouth, Digby County is one of them.

The pi­lot en­ables off-high­way ve­hi­cles to use the shoul­ders of road­ways, and the road­way it­self where nec­es­sary, to safely travel in se­lect ar­eas from one trail to an­other, or to ac­cess ser­vices.

“This three-year pi­lot will en­hance trail con­nec­tions and as­so­ci­ated off sea­son tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties while pro­vid­ing us with an op­por­tu­nity for fur­ther study,” said Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal Min­is­ter Lloyd Hines in a me­dia re­lease. “The lo­ca­tions for this pi­lot were se­lected weigh­ing fac­tors such as trail con­nec­tions, traf­fic vol­umes and road speed.”

Only regis­tered, li­censed and in­sured off-high­way ve­hi­cles can op­er­ate on the shoul­der, or the road­way, in th­ese six pi­lot ar­eas as long as the op­er­a­tor has a valid driver’s li­cence. Driv­ers hold­ing a learner’s li­cence are not per­mit­ted to par­tic­i­pate. No pas­sen­ger on one of the ve­hi­cles op­er­at­ing in the pi­lot area can be younger than nine years old.

When op­er­at­ing in pi­lot ar­eas, the off-high­way ve­hi­cles will be lim­ited to speeds of no more than 25 km/h. The ve­hi­cles will only be per­mit­ted to travel in pi­lot ar­eas from the hours of one half hour af­ter sun­rise to one half hour be­fore dusk.

In ad­di­tion to Trunk 1 in Wey­mouth, the other five com­mu­ni­ties cho­sen for the pi­lot are: Porters Lake, Hal­i­fax Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity; New Ger­many, Lunen­burg County; Wal­ton, Hants County; Sher­brooke, Guys­bor­ough County and Gabarus, Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“We’re pleased the gov­ern­ment has ful­filled its com­mit­ment to ad­vance this project,” said Barry Bar­net, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the ATV As­so­ci­a­tion of Nova Sco­tia. “This will go a long way to sup­port our work of build­ing an in­ter­con­nected trail net­work across Nova Sco­tia and spread­ing the mes­sage of safe, re­spon­si­ble off-high­way ve­hi­cle use.”

In April 2017 the prov­ince had an­nounced that Wey­mouth was one of nine com­mu­ni­ties be­ing con­sid­ered for a new pi­lot project to al­low offhigh­way ve­hi­cles ac­cess to cer­tain high­way stretches link­ing trails to­gether.

At the time of that an­nounce­ment Kevin Lom­bard, pres­i­dent of Sou’west Nova ATV As­so­ci­a­tion and Zone 1 di­rec­tor and li­ai­son for the ATV As­so­ci­a­tion of Nova Sco­tia, had said they were thrilled by the news.

“This is some­thing we’ve been work­ing to­wards for a very long time,” he had said at that time. “This news will make Digby

County ex­tremely happy.”

Lom­bard ex­plained how many ATV driv­ers were forced to il­le­gally drive on the high­way to reach ar­eas of trails that weren’t con­nected, say­ing the as­so­ci­a­tion had been pushing for high­way ac­cess on cer­tain des­ig­nated trails for some time.

In the time since the ini­tial pi­lot an­nounce­ment the as­so­ci­a­tion waited ea­gerly for the pi­lot project to get off the ground. The de­lay in im­ple­ment­ing it dealt with the fact that more de­tails were be­ing ironed out, such as rules of the road, speed limits, safety, en­force­ment, etc.

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