DRUMMOND/NORTH ELMSLEY TOWNSHIP - You are now free to hop on your ATV in DNE.
Street legal ATVs.
Drummond/North Elmsley Reeve Aubrey Churchill, right, speaks with Montague Township Reeve Bill Dobson in the Lanark County council chambers on Thursday, Feb. 21 in Perth. Montague allowed ATVs on its municipal roads last year, while DNE allowed the move starting last month.
Drummond/North Elmsley Township recently passed a bylaw to allow ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) on township roads, with certain restrictions and exceptions.
“We’re following the provincial government stipulations,” said DNE Reeve Aubrey Churchill after the Lanark County council session on Wednesday, Feb. 20. “County roads are different. They still haven’t been covered yet” by county legislation.
So long as they stick to municipal roads, ATV enthusiasts can drive from Tay Valley Township, which passed their own ATV bylaw some time ago, through DNE, to Montague Township, which passed their ATV by-law last year. The DNE bylaw was passed unanimously.
“We’re in the middle of the sandwich,” joked Churchill. “We have had several requests (from residents) for it to be opened up.”
Churchill himself has an ATV, though he uses his vehicle for work, hauling wood, while his son uses his ATV for recreation.
“I’m a total supporter of four-wheeling,” said Churchill, who added that ATVs were a part of rural life. “We passed it (the bylaw) by our insurance company and they told us what we had to do. There is liability no matter what you do.”
The new DNE bylaw includes restrictions such as lower speeds for ATVs than the posted speed limit – for example, a posted speed limit of 80 km/h for any other motorized vehicle would translate into 50 km/h for an ATV.
But Churchill hastened to add that “a road like Highway 43 will not be approved for four-wheelers.”
Another reason for passing the bylaw was to allow “the 99 per cent (who) will abide by the rules” to enjoy the open road. “There is no use in penalizing everyone because of the actions of some.”