Quad Riders Association of British Columbia
Thank you for your insights, hard work and support to help improve off-road vehicle (ORV) management in British Columbia. A solution has been a long time in the making, and has involved discussions with many people and organizations to identify shared interests and workable approaches for moving forward.
I am pleased to inform you of Government’s decision on an improved ORV management framework which addresses rider safety, environmental protection, vehicle registration with better identification, and the ability to cross public roads in a more convenient manner. Federal and private lands are excluded. Key improvements to the ORV management framework include:
Registration and Licensing:
- Mandatory vehicle registration of all ORVs at sale and resale.
- A more visible licence plate or decal which will assist compliance and enforcement efforts in identifying irresponsible ORV riders and help track stolen ORVs.
- An expanded definition of ORVs will include all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes; this will allow local government to enact bylaws for all ORVs.
Public Road Crossings:
- All ORV riders will be able to legally cross public roads and highways or portions of the right-of-way at designated locations with an optional annual vehicle licence and basic insurance. These crossings will connect our rural communities and support a world-class trail network.
- All ORV riders will be required to wear a helmet and use lights for low-visibility conditions. Seatbelts will be required to be worn, where installed by the manufacturer.
- Additional measures to better protect youth under 16 years of age will include adult supervision, appropriately-sized machines for age and weight of drivers, and reduced speed limits.
- Improved muffler standards for ORVs will reduce noise disturbance to wildlife and recreationists; spark arrestors will reduce the risk of forest fires.
- British Columbia supports the Federal Government’s proposed emission standards for ORVs under the Marine Spark-Ignition Engine and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations; once approved, these standards will apply in British Columbia.
Compliance and Enforcement:
- A provincial ORV compliance and enforcement strategy will be developed and will include an education component to help achieve voluntary compliance.
Registration and licensing costs will be based on a user-pay approach, comparable to other small vehicles. The Province will work closely with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) to implement service delivery within two years. This time frame is needed to address matters such as ICBC’s system upgrades and allow for a smooth business transition for front-line brokers.
Milestones which led to this decision include:
- In 2005, the ORV Coalition, comprised of ten key stakeholder associations, produced a report with 47 recommendations to address longstanding ORV management issues.
- In 2006, the Coroners Service of British Columbia, Child Death Review Unit, recommended an improved ORV regulatory framework to help address ORV accidents resulting in injuries to youths and deaths.
- In early 2009, during the review of the proposed Provincial Trails Strategy, there was strong overall public support for a strategy improving ORV management. I would like to highlight that this strategy is an essential component of the ORV management framework. For more information, please refer to our web site at:www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/about/provincial-trail-strategy.aspx.
- Over the years, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities has passed nine resolutions requesting an improved ORV management regime.
- In September 2009, the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce recommended that government immediately institute the registration of ORVs and explore options to implement the remainder of the ORV Coalition’s recommendations.
Through extensive dialogue over the years, we have learned that ORV issues are complex and achieving consensus among the range of parties is challenging. We also found that there were many aspects of shared interest and a spirit of compromise in order to make progress.
We will continue to work with our key stakeholder associations, agencies and resource ministries as we develop ORV regulations and policy.
Thank you again for your support.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts