FAQ's for ORVs

Please see below for the top ten frequently asked questions about off road vehicle use in Kawartha Lakes:

1) I’m worried about children running up and down the street on their ORVs.
Rules for road use for ORVs are covered under Reg. 316/03 of the Highway Traffic Act. As a minimum, the driver of an off-road vehicle must hold a valid Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G, G2, M or M2 driver’s licence while operating on any road in Ontario. Children are not legally allowed to operate an ORV on any road including unmaintained and unassumed roads in Ontario.

2) If someone has an accident who’s liable.
To legally operate an ORV on a trail or road in Ontario it must be plated and insured the same as a car or truck would be and an accident would be investigated in the same manner.

3) ORV’s are noisy and will upset the tranquility of my neighbourhood
Legal, (non-modified) ORV’s are no louder than some cars, trucks or motorcycles on the roads today.

4) ORVs travel way too fast and are dangerous
ORV’s are required to follow strict guidelines under HTA 316/03 with regard to speed limits on roads or they can be charged.

The off-road vehicle shall not be driven at a rate of speed greater than

a) 20 kilometres per hour, if the speed limit established under the Act for that part of the highway is not greater than 50 kilometres per hour; or

b) 50 kilometres per hour, if the speed limit established under the Act for that part of the highway is greater than 50 kilometres per hour.

Since 2007 ORVs have been allowed to operate on the VRTC and in the Somerville Forest in the City of Kawartha Lakes, and we are not aware of any serious injuries as a result of an ORV accident.

5) ORVs travel way too slow, are slow and will impede traffic
Same response as above, they have to follow the speed limits just as any other vehicles does. Where it’s safe for them they must travel on the shoulder of the road in the same direction as the traffic.

6) Do you feel that ORV should operate within a time frame? (example 8am to 8pm)
Yes, the committee will be recommending that that ORV use is prohibited between 9:30pm and 7am.

7) Can you carry a passenger on an ORV if you are on a road allowance?
You can carry a passenger on a road allowance, both open and closed:

  • If the ORV is designed by the manufacturer to carry passengers
  • If the passenger is a minimum of 8 years of age
  • If the operator and passenger are wearing an approved helmet
  • If the municipality allows ORVs on the road allowance
  • If all other criteria under HTA Reg. 316/03 are met for operating an ORV on a road.

8) Should the Trail system remain open and closed as the current time frame only? (May1st to Dec 1st)
Yes there is no need to change the dates for the trails.

9) Will the routes only be used to access trails and not used as transportation?
Yes, that’s correct, they are to provide trail to trail connectivity.

10) What kind of proactive enforcement do you see to create safe and legal trails?
The trails in the City of Kawartha Lakes are patrolled by municipal bylaw officers, OPP officers including the OPP Save team, and by members of the Kawartha ATV Association trail patrol team. KATVA trail patrol team is made up of over 30 volunteers every riding season.


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