WINDSOR, ONT. -- Essex County OPP say they have seen an increase in complaints in Off-Road Vehicles on roads, trails and destroying private property across the region.

The OPP would like to remind ORV operators the trails known as the Chrysler Canada Greenway, the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS) as well as decommissioned rail lines, the use of motorized vehicles of any kind are prohibited.

Police would also like to remind ATV riders to check with their local municipality to determine if usage is permitted.

Municipalities have the authority to create by-laws to restrict/prohibit usage of ORVs including new types such as dirt bikes and Extreme Terrain Vehicles (EXTs) commonly referred to as an Argo.

Other areas that are prohibited;

  • · Town and municipal parks (soccer fields, baseball diamonds, beaches etc)
  • · Railroad tracks
  • · Private property (unless consent was obtained by the owner.)

At all times please obey the laws, respect others property and ride safely and responsibly.

OPP will have officers on ATV patrol in problem areas and violators will be charged if found to be violating any laws.

“ORVs are year-round utility and recreational vehicles that can offer hours of enjoyment for outdoor enthusiasts, as long as they obey the law and follow safety precautions,” states an OPP news release.

Officers say the Smart Ride Safe Ride ORV Handbook is a great resource that outlines the rules and requirements for ORVs.

Some highlights include:

  • For any on road usage, all operators must be at least 16 years old and hold at a minimum a valid G2 or M2 licence.
  • Children under 12 may only legally operate an ATV/ORV on private land occupied by the ATV/ORV operator. Close supervision must be provided at all times.
  • Wear an approved motorcycle helmet.
  • ORVs must be driven in the same direction as traffic and on the shoulder where available; when not available on the right most portion of the roadway.
  • Vehicles must be registered, plated and insured.
  • No passengers under the age of 8 and the number of occupants are limited to the number of available seating positions.
  • Have full lighting on (headlights and taillights) between sunset and sunrise or when the weather is unfavourable.
  • If the posted speed limit is 50 km/h or less the limit for the ORV is 20 km/
  • If the posted speed limit is greater than 50 km/h the limit for the ORV is 50 km/h.