Learn the rules before you ride

Fox Mountain resident Peter Kitto wants to help educate the public about the rules around ATV and dirt bike use.

Fox Mountain resident Peter Kitto wants to help educate the public about the rules around ATV and dirt bike use.

Kitto says with increasing regularity he sees riders with or without helmets crossing the public road, driving on the road’s verges and in areas signed as no-go zones amongst other transgressions.

“You’ve got young Johnny over to see Billy a few doors down and he’ll whip over to see him on his dirt bike or his quad,”  Kitto says.

“Then you’ve got families up there touring; then you’ve got the racers, the guys who think we’re going up there to go as fast as we can. There’s a real misunderstanding of what’s allowed and what’s not allowed.”

These activities are not restricted to the summer months, says Kitto, who sees the mode of transportation change to snowmobiles once the weather changes.

According to the Williams Lake RCMP detachment, it is illegal to operate an ATV/dirt bike on any road or highway that is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, including crossing a highway. Individuals who are caught driving on these roads could face a fine of $598 and have their ATV towed. To operate on a B.C. Service Road individuals must carry a minimum of $200,000 third-party liability and must have a valid driver’s licence. Wearing helmets is mandatory and ATVs/dirt bikes can not be used in areas that prohibit them.

New rules will phase in this fall and include mandatory vehicle registration and identification; annual vehicle licencing and insurance for individuals who wish to cross public roads; and muffler standards and spark arrestors to avoid forest fires.

“I’m sure if people knew what was right and wrong they might pick an areas that was safer,”  Kitto notes.