• News
  • June 11, 2015

Ontario Increases On-Road Access for Off-Road and All-Terrain Vehicles in Peterborough and Surrounding Areas

New Rules Also Strengthen Safety Requirements for Riders

Ontario is enhancing on-road access in Peterborough and the surrounding areas for more types of off-road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) while increasing safety requirements for riders.

 Beginning July 1, 2015, the province is implementing the following changes to ensure that ORV and ATV riders safely reach their destination 

  • More types of ORVs and ATVs, including two-up ATVs, side-by-side ATVs and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs), will be allowed to use the shoulder of public roads
  • All riders — including drivers and passengers of all ages — will have to wear a helmet and use a seatbelt or foot rests, where applicable 

 This month, the province is promoting the new rules before they come in force July 1st, 2015 to ensure that municipalities have enough time to make necessary by-law amendments and to remind riders and drivers about the change.

 The province is also allowing an education period to take place between July 1 to Sept. 1, 2015, before violation tickets are issued. However, during this time police officers may still lay a charge through a summons.    

 Ontario is home to thousands of kilometres of recreational trails making it a popular destination for riders from across Canada and the world. Consultations with a wide array of trail, municipal, industry, enforcement, health and safety stakeholders informed the changes to strike the right balance between safety, trail access and the expansion of tourism and local economic development opportunities.

 Enhancing Ontario’s tourism and recreational opportunities is part of the government's plan for Ontario. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.


 “Connecting Ontario’s trails to public roads will help more people discover and enjoy the unique experiences our province has to offer, and will also enhance economic development and tourism in our community

—   Jeff Leal, MPP

 “Our government recognizes the importance of a vibrant, sustainable and safe powersports sector in Ontario, and we support providing Ontarians with options to safely explore our vast province.”

—   Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation



  • Off-road vehicle (ORVs) is a broad term that can include single-rider, two-up and side-by-side ATVs and utility terrain vehicles.
  • Drivers operating a permitted ORV along a road or highway must hold at least a G2 or M2 driver’s licence, and their vehicle must be registered and insured.
  • Previous to July 1, 2015, only single-rider ATV’s, manufactured to carry a driver only and no passengers, could operate along certain provincial and municipal highways.

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