Responsible ATV use benefits everyone
Peter Mellish understands better than most the importance of following the rules when riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Prince Edward Island.
The PEI ATV Federation president says spring is the time of year when riders return to the outdoors and support local businesses in rural areas along the way. The ATV federation has teamed with rural landowners to build private trails to help riders stay off farmland and the Confederation Trail; ATVs are prohibited from the trail and from private property without permission.
Using these designated ATV trails also helps keep riders safe and protects the Island’s valuable agriculture and sensitive areas like wetlands, shores, and dunes. Spring is nesting time for migratory and non-migratory birds, and furbearers with young are also in the den this time of year and easily disturbed by ATVs.
“As an ATV rider, you are an ambassador for ATV enthusiasts everywhere, so we are fully committed to ensuring that all ATV riders abide by the rules,” Mellish said. “We encourage all riders to use sanctioned trails, get the proper safety training, carry a valid plate and registration, and wear the proper safety gear.”
A helmet is the most important piece of protective gear for safe riding because it can prevent a serious head injury. Goggles or a face shield helps protect eyes from dust and/or debris and also helps with visibility.
Minors under age 16 should never use an ATV designed for adults, and all riders should ride at speeds appropriate for the terrain.
The Off-Highway Vehicle Operation Booklet provides information for riders and landowners on the rules for operating off-highway vehicles in Prince Edward Island. Download a copy of the free booklet or pick up a copy at Access PEI, PEI Federation of Agriculture in Charlottetown or the PEI ATV Federation.
“Trespassing can have costly consequences to farms and to the environment,” Conservation Officer Wade MacKinnon said. “ATV laws keep riders, pedestrians and other motorists safe, and following the rules protects our agricultural and natural areas.
”As well, proper protective equipment, training, knowledge, and common sense go a long way to ensure the safe and fun use of ATVs in Prince Edward Island.”
Some other rules for operating an ATV include:
- drivers must be at least 14 years of age;
- drivers between 14 and 19 years of age must have completed an off-highway vehicle safety training course;
- all 14 and 15 year olds must be supervised by an adult;
- anyone riding over the age of 16 must have valid driver’s license and have held that license for at least 24 months; and
- all operators must carry a government-issued registration for the OHV and must have a valid license plate attached to the OHV which must be visible anytime the OHV is off the owner’s property.
Department of Justice and Public Safety