As the warm weather returns, the New Brunswick RCMP is reminding all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) users to ensure they're doing all they can to stay safe on the province's trails.
"We know this is an enjoyable pastime for many in our province, and most ATV riders are respectful and obey the law," says Cpl. Ryan Lewis of the West District RCMP. "Unfortunately, we receive complaints all over the province every year that some ATVers are breaking the law. It's important that all ATV drivers comply with the rules and regulations to keep everyone safe on New Brunswick trails and roadways."
The RCMP would like to remind ATV enthusiasts of a few simple tips to make every ride an enjoyable one:
- Ride sober and remind others to do so as well. Drinking and operating an ATV is a criminal offence and can lead to serious injuries or even death for riders, passengers and others.
- Obey the rules of the road and trail. Stay on marked and approved trails, and away from streams.
- Bring your vehicle to a complete stop before crossing a highway, and always drive directly across. You must stay at least 7.5 metres away from highways except when crossing.
- Ride at a reasonable speed and adjust for weather and trail conditions. You should remain in complete control of your vehicle at all times.
- Ensure your ATV is registered and insured, and that your licence plate and registration are properly displayed.
- All ATV operators under 16 years of age must complete an approved safety training course and be supervised by someone who is at least 19 years old.
- Always wear your helmet.
"Every year, our members respond to tragic crashes involving ATVs that could have been prevented with more attention to safe and responsible driving," says Cpl. Lewis. "So wear your helmets, reduce your speed and please don't drink and drive. We know doing those three things alone dramatically lowers the risk of people being killed or injured while riding ATVs."
Fines for offences under the Off-Road Vehicle Act start at $172.50, but in some cases a judge may impose a fine of up to $20,500.
For more information, please consult the Department of Public Safety's Off-Road Vehicle pamphlet at http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ps-sp/pdf/drivers_vehicles/off-road_vehicles/Off-roadVehiclesAndYou.pdf