Press release

May 9, 2022

(HAWKESBURY, ON) - The Hawkesbury Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind riders that with the nice weather in place, more people are hitting the trails and enjoying outdoor activities on their Off Road Vehicles (ORV).  

An information session will be held on May 19th 2022, at 5:30 p.m., in the parking lot of the Alfred-Plantagenet Town hall, located at 205 Old Highway 17, Plantagenet. 

Dirt Bikes: 

A two wheeled dirt bike is an ORV. These are prohibited from travelling on highways or city streets. There are no lights (headlight, signal, brake light), tires are designed for dirt, insurance may not be required, and class M license not required. These are strictly for off road use only. 

An ATV is an ORV that: 

  • has four wheels, the tires of which are all in contact with the ground, 

  • has steering handlebars, 

  • has a seat that is designed to be straddled by the driver, and 

  • is designed to carry: 

  • (i) a driver only and no passengers, or 

  • (ii) a driver and only one passenger, if the vehicle, (a) has one passenger seat that is designed to be straddled by the passenger while sitting facing forward behind the driver, and (b) is equipped with foot rests for the passenger that are separate from the foot rests for the driver. 

Always check local by-laws pertaining to ATV/ORV rules specific to the municipality you are riding in.  

ORV Highway Traffic Act (HTA) Regulatory Requirements: 

To operate on a Highway/City streets (including ditches & crossing), requires: 

  • Permit 

  • Plate 

  • Insurance 

  • Proper helmet and/or Seatbelt 

  • Driver’s licence of Class G2 or M2 or higher (16 years) 

  • Any passenger must be at least 8yrs old 

  • Speed limit of 20km/h in zone not greater than 50km/h 

  • Speed limit of 50km/h in zone greater than 50km/h 

  • Lights must be turned “on” 

Side – by – Sides: 

“Side by Sides” (SxS) and 2-up ATV’s are permitted to travel on some roadways as well. That goes for all 2-ups (from the manufacturer), all UTV’s and SxS’s. While it’s still up to the local municipality to decide, the Ontario government has given the go-ahead for SxS’s and UTV’s to receive the same privileges that apply to ATVs. The one thing that needs to be clearly spelled out is that this designation simply changes what the definition of an ATV is to include UTV and SxS equipment. It does not supersede any municipal regulations that may be in place. If you could previously ride an ATV on the shoulder of the road in your area, you can now ride a SxS with a passenger(s) in the same fashion. ATV’s that are capable of carrying a passenger are also legal, provided the passenger seat and foot pegs are in place from the manufacturer. 

Golf carts: 

Can only be used where the HTA does not apply, such as private property. Operation on or across highways or city streets is strictly prohibited. 

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Provincial Constable Kenneth (Ken) Gray
Community Safety / Media Relations Officer
613-632-2729 (office)
613-678-0294 (cell)