Last week the Selkirk RCMP stopped by our office with their new side by side. They were out monitoring areas affected by overland flooding to ensure no safety issues and to see if anyone was in need of a helping hand.
This new addition will assist the RCMP in patrolling off highways during the summer months.
With the warmer weather upon us, many Manitobans are eager to get outside and enjoy the outdoors which may include riding off-road vehicles (ORVs). The Manitoba RCMP wants to remind operators of the laws of ORVs to ensure a safe ride.
Another thing to be mindful of when using an ATV is farmers’ fields. Due to the rural area we live in, we have many farmers that rely on their seeds and crops for their livelihood. Driving across their fields can cause irreparable and costly damage. Trespassing and vandalism are outside the scope of our Protective Services Officer so when we receive these types of concerns we provide that information to the RCMP who can act on the issue.
Most of the laws around ORVs fall under the Off Road Vehicles Act but some general rules to keep in mind when riding an ORV can be found here. Any laws that fall under the Off Road Vehicles Act are enforced by the RCMP as it is provincial legislation. If you have concerns related to any of those offences which includes items like travelling where prohibited, careless operation and consumption of cannabis and/or alcohol, please contact the RCMP directly at 204-482-1222.
Here are some general rules to keep in mind when riding an ORV:
- Anyone under the age of 14 must have direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is a minimum of 18 years of age. Youth over the age of 14 can ride without parental supervision, but cannot cross a roadway until they obtain a valid driver’s licence
- ORVs are not to be operated on roadways, shoulders, medians of divided roadways, or sidewalks
- ORVs are permitted to be in the ditch, provided travel is in the same direction as vehicle traffic, the ORV is to the right of the roadway and the shoulder, and the ORV is being operated in an area where ORV use is permitted. Always remember to be on the lookout for hazards in the ditch, such as culverts, driveway approaches, and road signs
- No riding:
- On privately owned or leased land without permission
- Within 30 metres of a dwelling that is not yours between midnight and 7:00 am
- Within 30 metres of a playground or area set aside for recreation that is not fully fenced
- In a careless manner
- Without reasonable consideration for other persons and property
- Stay away from environmentally sensitive areas and wetlands, and areas easily damaged by churning wheels
- When conditions are dry, use caution as sparks from an ORV can ignite grass and branches, starting a fire
- Be aware of local bylaws in the area you are riding
- Impaired driving laws apply to ALL motorized vehicles. Only operate an ORV when sober and alert
In 2021, RCMP in Manitoba responded to 8 fatal collisions involving ORVs and 58 collisions where serious injury occurred. Contributing factors in these collisions included speed, no helmet and impaired driving.
Knowledge and safety are key, so make sure you are aware of the rules in place in the area where you are riding. Be respectful and courteous of others using the outdoors, and enjoy the ride!