Province plans legislation for backcountry vehicles 

Off Road Vehicle Act to bring regulations in line with other Canadian provinces

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO - OFFROAD ORDER The provincial government wants to update the legislation regulating off road vehicles in B.C.
  • Shutterstock photo
  • OFFROAD ORDER The provincial government wants to update the legislation regulating off road vehicles in B.C.

Dirt bike, quad and snowmobile owners are facing possible rule changes in the next year as the provincial government is looking to bring in new regulations for owners of all-terrain vehicles.

The Off Road Vehicle Act was introduced Feb. 24 and according to the provincial government, the new regulations will bring certainty for the 200,000 people in the province who own an off road vehicle (ORV). The proposed legislation will create a one-time Insurance Corporation of British Columbia registration system and create ORV operating rules.

Most people wear helmets while using an ORV but it isn’t mandatory. The new legislation will pave the way for the creation of rules like a helmet law for ORV users.

Tony Cailes, president of the Black Tusk Snowmobile Club, likes what he has heard about the proposed new legislation.

“People need to be compliant with registration and then attaching your driver’s license to your machine, driver’s license to your truck and driver’s license to your motorbike,” said Cailes during the annual Snow-a-rama event held on Saturday, March 1 at the entrance to the Callaghan Valley in the Brandywine parking lot.

The proposed new legislation was drafted by a number of people connected to outdoor recreation vehicles. Erin Hart, president of the BC Snowmobile Federation, was one of the people who consulted with the provincial government over a five-year period as the legislation was being drafted.

“Is it anywhere perfect? No. Is it going to get us to where we want to go? Yes,” said Hart. “There was no real good legislation sitting in place. The stuff that was sitting there was 30 years old, if not older so we needed to take that next step.”

Jeremy McCall, executive director, Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia is also supportive of the move to new regulations.

“Among other benefits, this legislation will offer security of ownership and improved safety standards for the riders of ORVs and it will provide for higher standards of compliance and enforcement which will benefit non-motorized recreationists," said McCall through a provincial government new release.

Check back with Pique for more on this issue on Thursday.

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