WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NOVA SCO­TIA’S OHV PILOT PROJECT

“Change is com­ing but, first there is a re­quire­ment to con­duct pilot projects to de­ter­mine what safety fea­tures must be im­ple­mented” What you need to know about Nova Sco­tia’s OHV Pilot Project

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - Dan Fraser is pres­i­dent of the Isle Royale ATV Club. Dan Fraser

On Sept. 24, the Prov­ince of Nova Sco­tia an­nounced that the lon­gawaited off-high­way ve­hi­cle (OHV) pilot project would com­mence on Oct. 1.

Mem­bers of the Isle Royale ATV Club in Syd­ney, sup­ported by the mem­bers of the Mar­coni Trail Blaz­ers ATV Club of Glace Bay, have been seek­ing changes to the Off-High­way Ve­hi­cle Act of 2006 since 2007. The lo­cal

ATV Clubs be­came more en­gaged in this en­deav­our in 2010 and sought the as­sis­tance of the All-Ter­rain Ve­hi­cle As­so­ci­a­tion of

Nova Sco­tia to en­cour­age mem­bers of the 42 ATV

Clubs in the prov­ince to start the process re­quest­ing politi­cians and oth­ers to al­low for high­way travel to ac­com­mo­date trail con­nec­tiv­ity and gain ac­cess to ameni­ties in var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties.

The an­nounce­ment of Sep. 24 will per­mit off-high­way ve­hi­cles at six spe­cific lo­ca­tions across the prov­ince to legally travel along the shoul­der of the high­way pro­vided they fol­low the rules/reg­u­la­tions that are ap­pli­ca­ble dur­ing the high­way travel tri­als.

The pilot project en­ables OHVs to ac­cess the shoul­ders of road­ways and the road­way it­self where nec­es­sary in or­der to safely travel from one OHV trail to an­other or to ac­cess fa­cil­i­ties such as gas sta­tions in the se­lected pilot ar­eas.

The OHV must be reg­is­tered, li­cenced and in­sured (which is in keep­ing with the cur­rent reg­u­la­tions for all who op­er­ate be­yond their own prop­erty), the op­er­a­tor must have a valid driv­ers li­cense and no pas­sen­ger un­der the age of nine years old is al­lowed dur­ing the pilot project. The li­cence plate must be at­tached to the ve­hi­cle, and driv­ers hold­ing a learn­ers per­mit are not per­mit­ted to take part in the pilot.

Speed limit in the pilot ar­eas is limited to 25 Km/h, travel is per­mit­ted from the hours of one-half hour af­ter sun­rise to one half hour be­fore dusk and travel must be in the same di­rec­tion as traf­fic us­ing the same side of the high­way.

OHVs will be per­mit­ted to be driven on road­ways in the same di­rec­tion as traf­fic us­ing the same side of the high­way if:

- There is no shoul­der,

- The shoul­der is ob­structed,

- They are pre­par­ing to make a left turn across the road­way,

- The shoul­der is not wide enough to be driven with all tires com­pletely off the road­way, or

- When be­ing driven across a level rail­way cross­ing

When en­ter­ing the shoul­der or road­way of a des­ig­nated high­way OHVs will be re­quired to yield the right of way to any traf­fic al­ready us­ing the shoul­der or road­way. OHVs will be per­mit­ted to en­ter shoul­der only when safe to do so.

Be­fore com­menc­ing a left turn, the OHV will be re­quired to (with­out in­ter­fer­ing with traf­fic) move away from the shoul­der or right edge of the road­way and be po­si­tioned on the road­way in the po­si­tion to make a left turn. Upon com­plet­ing a left turn, the OHV will be re­quired to (with­out in­ter­fer­ing with traf­fic) move back to the right edge of the road­way or shoul­der.

The OHV Act pro­hibits OHVs from be­ing equipped with turn sig­nals. There­fore, prior to com­menc­ing any turn OHV rid­ers will be re­quired to in­di­cate the in­ten­tion to turn fol­low­ing the hand sig­nalling in­struc­tions pro­vided in the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act.

OHVs will be re­quired to travel in sin­gle file and are not per­mit­ted to pass when rid­ing in pilot ar­eas.

In ad­di­tion to any other pro­vi­sion in the pilot reg­u­la­tions, no per­son will be per­mit­ted to op­er­ate an OHV in a pilot area un­less it meets all equip­ment re­quire­ments in ac­cor­dance with the Nova Sco­tia’s Off-High­way Ve­hcle Act and gen­eral reg­u­la­tions.

One of the im­por­tant re­al­i­ties of this an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing the pilot project is that all of the reg­u­la­tions within the High­way Ve­hi­cle Act that cur­rently ex­ist will con­tinue to be mon­i­tored and en­forced by ap­pro­pri­ate DNR/En­vi­ron­ment en­force­ment of­fi­cers and, of course, lo­cal po­lice forces.

It is worth not­ing that travel on a road­way or street con­tin­ues to be pro­hib­ited as out­lined in the OHV Act. Rid­ers must keep in mind that fail­ure to com­ply with the OHV Act car­ries with it hefty fines, a few of which are listed here as a re­minder:

- Fail­ure to reg­is­ter an ATV or side-by-side that is used off per­sonal prop­erty - $410

- Fail­ure to carry PL&PD In­sur­ance - $410

- Fail­ure to place a li­cense plate on ma­chine - $410

- Fail­ure to ride with due care and at­ten­tion - $410

- Rid­ing on a road­way or street ex­cept in the pilot project lo­ca­tion - $410

- Rid­ing in a wilder­ness area that does not have an ap­proved trail in place - $697.50

- Rid­ing on a beach - $697.50 - Rid­ing un­der in­flu­ence of al­co­hol/drugs is a crim­i­nal of­fence and the same rules ap­ply as they would if a per­son was driv­ing any other ve­hi­cle.

The fore­go­ing rep­re­sents only a frac­tion of the pos­si­ble of­fences un­der the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act and a com­plete list­ing can be found by googling “sum­mary of­fence tick­ets in Nova Sco­tia, OHV.”

The thou­sands of ATV/side-by­side own­ers and op­er­a­tors in Nova Sco­tia have re­quested changes to the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act for many years. Change is com­ing but, first there is a re­quire­ment to con­duct pilot projects to de­ter­mine what safety fea­tures must be im­ple­mented and to as­sess how re­spon­si­ble OHV Rid­ers will be as they travel through the pilot project ar­eas.

Here in Cape Bre­ton, there is one pilot project lo­ca­tion and it is along the Ocean­view Road at the Gabarus end of this road, out to the Gabarus High­way and along the high­way to the Mo­hawk Lake Forestry Road. This will pro­vide con­nec­tiv­ity from trails that are lo­cated in the Mar­ion Bridge area to North Fram­boise.

It is noted that the two lo­cal ATV Clubs have been very ac­tive de­vel­op­ing a suit­able trail sys­tem that now ex­tends from New Water­ford to Mira Gut. (The lim­it­ing fac­tor at this lo­ca­tion is the re­moval of the Mira Gut Bridge). Be­yond the bridge, the de­vel­oped trail con­tin­ues to cross the Louis­bourg High­way, Rocky Bos­ton, Com­mu­nity Pas­ture forestry roads, to Ocean­view Road and out­ward to North Fram­boise and be­yond.

STOCK IM­AGE

The Prov­ince of Nova Sco­tia an­nounced that the long-awaited off-high­way ve­hi­cle (OHV) pilot project would com­mence on Oct. 1. It’s hoped the project is de­ter­mine what safety fea­tures must be im­ple­mented and to as­sess how re­spon­si­ble OHV Rid­ers will be as they travel through the pilot project ar­eas.

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