ATV Information for Durham Region
The Durham Region ATV Safety Coalition presents this information in hopes that Durham residents will be injury-free and can live to their full potential.
In 2008 there were 325 Durham Region residents who visited emergency rooms for ATV injuries. That's almost one person from our community every day of the year!
Below you will be provided with information on safe riding, legal requirements and trail permits. By taking steps to prevent injuries we can all live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Who is at Risk of Injury?
ATV-related injuries tend to be severe. They can include head and spinal trauma, fractures, internal injuries, permanent disability and death. Alcohol, excessive speed, and lack of helmet use significantly increases the risk of injury and death.
Children and youth are particularly at risk. Young riders lack the physical strength, experience and judgment to operate an ATV safely. Riders must know their limitations and follow age and size restrictions for specific types and sizes of machines.
The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that children younger than 16 not operate ATVs
Where to Ride
ATVs can be legally driven on:
- Your own private property
- Others' private property only if you have permission from the property owner
- Legally designated trails - Ganaraska Forest has the only legally designated trail system within Durham Region. You must have a valid trail permit (see below for information on permits)
- Brock Township open and maintained roads, during the winter only: between December 1 and March 31 the following year (subject to a number of rules and regulations) as per the bylaw
ATVs are NOT allowed on:
- Provincial highways within Durham Region, with some exceptions outside of Durham Region. (For more information about ATVs and highways visit www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/orv.htm)
- Public roads or road allowances unless a bylaw is in place. Within Durham Region the Township of Brock is the only municipality with such a bylaw in place (see above)
- Private property, unless it's your own property, or you have permission from the owner (see above)
Riders may cross a highway only if they possess a valid G2/G driver's licence or an M2/M motorcycle licence, registration and insurance.
Police can charge riders driving on highways and rights-of-way under Part IV Reg. 316/03 of the Highway Traffic Act.
- You must properly wear a DOT
approved safety helmet
- Children under 12 years of age
are not permitted to drive an ATV except on land occupied by the vehicle owner or if under close supervision of an adult
- You must possess a valid G2/G driver’s licence or an M2/M motorcycle licence to drive on a permitted provincial highway or municipal road
- If stopped by a police officer or
property owner when riding an ATV, you must provide your name and address
- You must carry a valid off-road
ownership with you and have an off-road vehicle plate on the rear of the vehicle
- An ATV is a motorized vehicle, therefore, you must have insurance for your ATV and must show the insurance to a police officer, if asked
- If you lend your ATV to another person, you are liable for any damages or injuries if an incident occurs
- Invest in a safety course and learn to ride
safely from an expert
- Ride smart - no drugs, no alcohol. It’s against the law!
- Perform a pre-ride inspection on your ATV
before each ride and know your operator’s
- Wear your helmet and proper eye protection
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants,
leather gloves and sturdy boots
- Carry a cell phone and consider GPS equipment
- Carry a safety kit that includes flares, a
flashlight, map, compass, blanket, matches
and a sounding device
- Ride with others - never alone
- Ride within your ability and for weather and
- No passengers - they throw off your
balance. Most ATVs are designed for one
person - check your operator’s manual
- Preserve the environment
- Keep noise levels low
- Be courteous to all you meet
- Respect riding area rules
- If you encounter
horses on trails, move off to the side and turn off your engine
Ganaraska Forest (West Forest) is the only legally designated ATV trail system in Durham Region.
Annual permits and day use permits are available at:
- Ganaraska Forest Center (Cold Springs Camp Road)
- Ganaraska Main Office (2216 County Road 28)
- Ganaraska Leathercraft (Wilcox Road)
- Noone's Petro Canada (Hwy25/115 N of Kirby)
For further information on the Ganaraska Forest call the Forest Centre at 905-797-2721 or visit the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority website at www.grca.on.ca
For training information contact: Canada Safety Council 1-613-739-1535 or
Ontario Federation of All-Terrain Vehicles
1-705-797-0797 or www.ofatv.org
Durham Region ATV Safety Coalition