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All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s)

All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) definition

  • Four wheels all in contact with the ground
  • Must have steering handlebar
  • Seat designed to be straddled by the driver
  • Designed to carry only one driver and no passengers

Legislation for All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) in Ontario

  • Off-Road Vehicle Act (ORV) Ontario Reg. 316/03
  • Highway Traffic Act (HTA)

(ORV) Children under 12 years cannot operate an ATV unless they are operating the ATV on land owned by the vehicle’s owner or are closely supervised by an adult.

(HTA) Minimum operating age of 16 years for ATV use on or crossing roads.

In Haldimand and Norfolk Counties, no roads have designation for ATV use.

Prohibited uses of an ATV:

  • Private property without permission
  • Railroad property
  • Roadway allowance (median, ditch, fence line to fence line)
  • Public parks and beaches

Permitted uses of an ATV:

  • OFATV trails with membership, Crown land, on your own property or where you have permission from the landowner
  • Previous exemptions for farmers, public utility workers and trappers have not changed

ATV user safety tips

  • All ATV riders should take a training course. A Youth Rider Training Program for youth aged 12 to 16 years of age is available in Haldimand & Norfolk Counties
  • Wear appropriate riding gear-certified helmet, goggles, gloves, over the ankle boots, long sleeved shirt and long pants
  • Only one rider per vehicle – no passengers
  • Read owner’s manual

ATV user riding tips

  • Only operate ATV’s where legally allowed
  • Have full control of the ATV at all times
  • Always keep feet firmly on footrests
  • Ease off throttle when entering corners
  • Shift your body weight into the turn
  • Move forward in the seat when climbing hills and maintain a steady speed
  • Always drive sober

Haldimand-Norfolk ATV Safety Alliance

Formed in July 2008 a wide range of partner organizations and individuals from the Haldimand and Norfolk communities came together to address the issue of ATV safety. Partners included: O.P.P., local ATV clubs, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, Ministry of Transportation, Ontario Federation of ATV’s, and community members. We all agreed that a larger, diverse partnership representing a wide array of interests in ATV Safety would accomplish much more. The goal was to initiate an effective, sustainable, and community based initiative which would result in young and old being educating about the laws, supervision, and safe riding techniques and practices.

In the spring of 2009, the Alliance invited representatives from surrounding areas to join with us and both Niagara ATV club and the Hamilton Health Unit and ATV club are now active members.

Youth Rider Safety Program


  • To educate youth riding ATV’s about safe operating/riding techniques and practices
  • Educate parents and caregivers to protect young operators/riders through supervision and monitoring
  • To help communities address issues related to safe use of  ATV’s.

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