The final push to get UTVs and ATVs legalized on township roads in Rideau Lakes

November 8, 2015

Note:  This letter went into the November 4th edition of the Review-Mirror.  In the same issue Margaret Brand reported that the bill passed third reading (with a one-year sunset clause) and became official.

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Dear Editor:

I’d like to respond to Ms Longstreet’s letter in last week’s R-M in which she condemns off-road vehicles and criticizes the long-awaited township ordinance to allow ATVs and UTVs to use back roads to get from place to place.

I really hope this protest withers on the vine.  My 3-passenger Polaris Ranger (UTV) gets the mail, takes me on occasional neighbourhood jaunts with my dog, including visits to Baker’s Store. The bulk of its travel on public side-roads, however, is its monthly trips to the service station for gasoline for itself and diesel for my tractors.

The rest of the time on our farm it hauls water for irrigation, sprays invasive weeds, hauls apples, tools, sap, and just about anything anyone can think to lift into its dump box.

My Ranger is louder than a golf cart but considerably quieter than any of my tractors.  Its maximum speed is 24 m/hr.  It has lights, seat belts, roll cage, roof and windshield and weighs a stately 1000 pounds.  4-wheel disk brakes stop it most capably.

This vehicle had not yet come onto the market when the Ontario laws on ATVs were written in 2003.

The proposed township regulation wisely allows no after-dark operation of off-road vehicles on municipal roads.  From what I’ve read of it, Bill 2015-53 seems a legitimate attempt to update obsolete legislation and keep up with a trend in vehicular use which appeals to property owners in the community.

I encourage fellow UTV and ATV owners to make it clear to Rideau Lakes Council that this is a legislative change which we want and need.

Sincerely,

Rod Croskery,

Forfar

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