WHEREAS the Province of Alberta regulates the operation of off-highway vehicles under the Traffic Safety Act, Chapter T-6, RSA 2000; AND WHEREAS the Traffic Safety Act authorizes the council of a municipality to make bylaws for off-highway vehicles;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Province to amend the Traffic Safety Act to provide for more stringent operator licensing requirements, larger license plates and increased penalties for violations; AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Province develop and implement an off-highway vehicle operator safety training and education program.
This resolution is requesting the Province review the Traffic Safety Act and consider amendments to increase operator safety and compliance with the Act and municipal bylaws. Changes such as: increased age limits and training for operators, larger license plates, higher fines and more public education are proposed. The request is in response to increased public concern for the safety of operators, passengers and other users of highways. There are also issues of: trespass, private property damage, vandalism, livestock disturbance, soil erosion, and impact on crops and vegetation. Non-compliance with regulations with respect to insurance, registration, trespass, use of liquor, unauthorized operation, operating on roadways, and unsafe operation is a widespread and increasing problem. The present minimum requirement for an operator’s license is a learner’s permit which can be obtained at fourteen years old. Many OHVs are capable of speeds in excess of 90 kph, a significant speed for off-highway use. Higher age minimums with more stringent license requirements, similar to motor vehicle driver licenses and motor boat operator licenses, would lead to more responsible operating behaviour. Larger license plates would assist enforcement by making it easier to identify OHVs that are breaking the law. In addition, a Province-wide education program would help make operators and the public more aware of appropriate OHV use. Higher fines would provide greater incentive for operators to comply with applicable laws
Resolution 13-03S regarding ATV use on public lands urges the provincial government to undertake an awareness campaign with relevant ATV associations, to increase ATV user knowledge regarding the use of ATV’s on public lands, and to enforce existing regulations. The government response indicates that the province has implemented the ‘Shifting Gears’ program to enforce, educate and promote responsible practices for off-highway vehicle use and random camping along the Eastern Slopes.