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Conduisez-vous votre VTT selon les règles?

Do you drive your ATV without breaking rules?

We often have the impression that anyone can ride an ATV and that there are very few rules surrounding this activity. In fact, it is not as simple as we think.

You must be at least 16

Regardless of where you drive it, you must be at least 16 years old to drive an all-terrain vehicle and have passed the required certification.

For more information regarding the certificate of competence and knowledge, visit Fédération des clubs quads du Québec.

Conditions to have the right to drive on public roads

As soon as you have to cross a public roads, you must hold a valid driver’s licence or probationary licence, or you hold a valid learner’s licence and abide by its conditions.

An ATV must be registered

You must register your all-terrain vehicle, even if they are only used on designated trails. The licence plate must be affixed to the all-terrain vehicle.

It is important to know that just because your vehicle is registered, it doesn’t mean you are covered in the event of an accident.  If you have an accident that doesn’t involve an automobile (if you run into a tree, for example), you are not covered by the SAAQ for your injuries. The fact that you paid the registration fees for your off-road vehicle doesn’t change that fact.

You must hold private civil liability insurance for at least $500,000 to ensure compensation for any bodily injury or property damage caused by your vehicle.

However, if you have an accident involving an automobile or any other vehicle operating on a public roadway, you may receive compensation for your injuries from SAAQ.

Always have on you your proof of insurance since it may be requested by a police officer, trail patrol officer or provincial officer.

Trail permits

A valid trail permit is required if you wish to drive your all-terrain vehicle on trails maintained by off-road vehicle clubs.

Trail permits are sold by the clubs in question and can be bought in several locations.

Mandatory equipment

  • A protective helmet that complies with manufacturing standards
  • Protective goggles (if the helmet does not have a visor)
  • Closed footwear (boots or shoes)
  • Any other equipment prescribed by regulation

The vehicle must have:

  • A white headlight
  • A red taillight
  • A red rear brake light
  • A rear-view mirror firmly attached to the left side of the vehicle
  • An exhaust system
  • A braking system
  • A speedometer
  • Any other equipment determined by regulation

The speed limit is 50 km/h, unless otherwise indicated.

Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services
Source :  SAAQ