Monday, February 24, 2014
BC Gov't News
The ORV Act
New bill would establish ATV database and require owners to register and plate machines
Released by the Government of BC
ill 13, the Off Road Vehicle Act introduced today, promises certainty, safety and regulatory structure for thousands of off-road enthusiasts.
The proposed Off Road Vehicle – or ORV – Act replaces the 40-year-old Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act with a modern management structure, designed to align with existing regulatory regimes at minimal cost.
“Whether hunting, fishing, getting back to nature or just getting to work, many outdoor enthusiasts rely on off-road vehicles to augment their rural experience. The Off-Road Vehicle Act will secure the future of off-road vehicle use in a way that is self-sustaining, safe and environmentally responsible,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in a release Monday.
Increased use of quads, snowmobiles and other ORVs has helped British Columbians get out and enjoy the beauty of the province’s backcountry. Bill 13 will help ensure these vehicles are driven in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
“The framework set out in this legislation responds to a number of issues raised by local governments. Together, these new measures will increase safety, enhance community connectivity through trail networks, and safeguard the beauty and integrity of B.C.’s wilderness. The extensive consultation undertaken by the province on this issue has resulted in legislation that balances the interests of many different groups,” said Rhona Martin, president, Union of B.C. Municipalities.
The act, if passed and brought into force, will:
“The announcement of the ORV legislation is a tremendous tribute to the dedicated members of non-government organizations who formed the Coalition for Licensing and Registration of Off Road Vehicles in 2002. The coalition published its 47 recommendations in 2006. Many of those individuals continue to assist the ministry with the feedback it needs to prepare this legislation. Among other benefits, this legislation will offer security of ownership and improved safety standards for the riders of ORVs and it will provide for higher standards of compliance and enforcement which will benefit non-motorized recreationists,” explains Jeremy McCall, executive director, Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia.
“The requirement for registration is the cornerstone for future management and enforcement of ORV activities and theft prevention. This legislation provides a solid platform to develop comprehensive regulations that will address safety, operator conduct and environmental protection in the future. The Grasslands Conservation Council of BC looks forward to working with the Province and others in developing the accompanying regulations. The Grassland Conservation Council of BC has been working with a coalition of 10 other interests towards improving the management of off road vehicles for over 10 years,” added Scott Benton, executive director, Grasslands Conservation Council of BC.
“We are pleased that the Province of B.C. has taken this important measure to promote the safe and responsible use of Off Road Vehicles. The proposed ORV Act is designed to recognize existing vehicles while flexible enough to ensure new models can be accounted for as new designs become available,” concludes Bob Ramsay, president, Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council.
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