| Jan 13, 2005

Feature Article January 20, 2005

Feature article January 20, 2005

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ATVs now legal on North Frontenac roads

by Jeff Green

North Frontenac Council has decided to permit the use of 4-wheeled All Terrain Vehicles on township roads between 6:00 am and 11pm.

The new ATV bylaw passed at a meeting of North Frontenac Council last Thursday is similar to existing bylaws in North Hastings and Addington Highlands. Legalizing ATV use of public roads has become more and more prevalent just north of Highway 7. Lanark Highlands will be considering the matter very soon.

The only issue debated as the bylaw had its third reading centred on speed limitations. ATVs must travel at 30 km lower than the posted speed limits on public roadways. Councillor Dick Hook pointed out that the Highway traffic act says vehicles must travel at least half of the speed posted.


So, where we have 50 km per hour speed limits, ATVs will not be legal no matter what speed they travel at, Hook pointed out. A discussion occurred about whether it is all vehicles or just automobiles that are referred to in the Highway Traffic Act.

One of the arguments in favour of legalising ATV use of public roadways is that OPP officials have confirmed to Council that they are unwilling or unable to enforce the prohibition of ATVs on roads. An OPP officer told Council last year that they were not willing to endanger the life of someone on an ATV by chasing them. ATVs are also capable of turning off the road at any time, leaving a police cruiser behind.

In the end, Councilor Hooks was the only vote against adopting the bylaw.

Councilor Bud Clayton said he was glad the bylaw had been passed.

I can drive home legally now, he said.

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