All Terrain Vehicle Operation on Public Roads

Transportation and Communication


Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships


WHEREAS small rural communities could benefit economically as service centres for the growing recreational sport of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) touring;

AND WHEREAS legislation in British Columbia currently prohibits the operation of All Terrain Vehicles on highways, roads and streets for recreational purposes:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and UBCM lobby the Provincial Government to amend current legislation to permit Local Governments to regulate the operation of ATV’s on municipal roads and streets within their boundaries.


UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership has consistently endorsed resolutions requesting that the Province enact legislation and regulations with respect to off-road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) (2011-B10, 2009-A6, 2007-B20, 2005-B10, 2002-B9, 1999-LR4, 1996-B16, 1993-B36). Since ORV riders often cross boundaries from one local government to another, UBCM members have sought a province-wide approach for regulating and licensing their use to ensure consistency.

In November 2009, the Province announced its intent to develop a new framework for managing ORVs and ATVs. UBCM is presently represented on a Joint Advisory Group and a local government working group has also been established to provide feedback and comment to the provincial government on specific local government interests as the new framework is developed. The framework is being implemented in phases and the advisory groups continue to provide feedback on aspects including highway crossings, compliance and enforcement, safety, as well as licensing and registration.

Background Information

Provincial legislation currently provides local governments with the power to regulate the use of snowmobiles on municipal streets. Some municipalities such as the District of Wells take advantage of this empowerment to promote our community as a winter tourism destination by providing snowmobile enthusiasts not only with an excellent winter trail system, but also with the ability to directly access services in our town such as accommodation, restaurants and fuel.

The resolution being proposed is to encourage the Provincial Government to extend this same successful municipal empowerment to include the regulation of recreational All-Terrain Vehicles on municipal streets. Just as with snowmobiles, each Local Government could have the authority, by bylaw, to determine how, where and when ATV on-street use could be permitted within their boundaries.

Obviously this may not be suitable for many urban areas and in such situations local governments need not enact such bylaws. However for rural communities with a strong economic dependence on recreational tourism such legislation could provide an additional tool with which to promote their communities and sustain their businesses. For this reason we ask your support for this resolution.