Safe and Responsible Riding

Ride Sober

  • Refrain from using drugs or alcohol before and during the time you operate a motorized vehicle (including an ATV). It’s the law.

Wear the Gear

  • Always wear an approved motorcycle helmet and proper eye protection (protective goggles or face shield.)
  • Consider wearing high visibility clothing or a vest.

Slow Down

  • Obey speed limits. Travel a maximum of 20 km/h on roads with a limit of 50 km/h; a maximum of 50 km/h on roads with a limit of more than 50 km/h. Observer a 50 km/h speed limit on trails on your ATV.

Be Realistic

  • Prevent kids under 16 from operating an adult-size ATV. They lack the strength and skills to do so.
  • Follow the manufacture’s recommendations for passengers. They can affect the stability and control of the off-road vehicle.

Be Prepared

  • Carry a safety kit that includes flares, flashlight, compass, blanket, first aid supplies, matches and a sounding device. Carry a cell phone and consider GPS equipment.

Train with an Expert

  • Take a rider training course from an expert. Good training will make you more skilled and confident on your ATV.

Check your ATV

  • Do a safety check on your ATV before each ride. Check oil and gas levels, brakes, lights and winch.

Know the Laws

  • Carry your documents when you ride on roads. The law requires you to carry a valid vehicle registration, vehicle insurance and driver’s license (G2, M2 or higher). A provincial trail permit is required on trails along with these documents.  This is the only permit recognized on the EOTA & OFATV trail systems.
  • Refer to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and contact the municipality where you plan to ride for information about ATVs on roadways.
  • Drive your ATV in the same direction as traffic on roads and as far to the right as possible. Wear an approved helmet. Passengers are not permitted on roadways and are not recommended on the trail system.
  • Have insurance coverage for the use of an ATV while on personal property.


You may not realize it but, in most provinces, because an ATV is a motorized vehicle, you must have third-party liability insurance to operate one off your own property.  Not only is it the law, it is also good sense.  This also applies to children size ATV’s.  Although many people may believe that their ATV is covered under their homeowner’s insurance this is almost always not the case.  If you are unsure, call your insurance company and find out.  It makes sense to be covered in case of an accident. It also makes sense to avoid a possible fine, which can be quite hefty, for operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

Northumberland District ATV Riders Club