Operating Off-Road Vehicles and Snowmobiles

Posted On Wednesday January 27, 2021

The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) and City of Cornwall By-Law Services have received several complaints from concerned citizens on the use of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles on streets in the City of Cornwall. These vehicles are reportedly travelling at high rates of speed in residential areas of the community.

In response to these complaints, over the coming weeks, CPS officers and City of Cornwall By-Law officers will be focusing on educating members of the public on the lawful use of these vehicles, as well as using appropriate enforcement as necessary.

OFF-ROAD VEHICLES

Off-road vehicles are NOT PERMITTED to be operated on any highways (roads or streets) within the City of Cornwall. The only exception which may apply to off-road vehicle operators is to cross a highway from trail to trail if the trail intersects with a highway. Individuals caught engaging in the operation of an off-road vehicle on any highway within the City of Cornwall could be fined under the Highway Traffic Act.

In addition, if an individual happens to operate an off-road vehicle lawfully to cross a highway from trail to trail or unlawfully on a highway the following laws also apply:

  • The operator must have a valid driver’s licence.
  • The operator and any passenger must wear an appropriate helmet.
  • The off-road vehicle must be properly registered and plated.
  • An off-road vehicle shall not be operated at a speed greater than 20 kilometers per hour in a 50 kilometer per hour zone
  • An off-road vehicle shall not be operated at a speed greater than 50 kilometers per hour in any posted speed zone greater than 50 kilometers per hour.
  • The off-road vehicle must be insured in accordance with Section 2 of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act and Section 15 of the Off-Road Vehicle Act.

SNOWMOBILES

By-Law 01-1996 of the City of Cornwall gives permission to individuals to operate snowmobiles within the City of Cornwall with specific regulations. The CPS and the City of Cornwall recommend that snowmobile owners familiarize themselves with the By-Law regulations. Under the By-Law, individuals are allowed to operate their snowmobiles from their residence to the trail and from the trail to their residences under the following conditions:

  • The operator shall not exceed 20 kilometers per hour.
  • The operator shall travel in a single file.
  • The operator shall travel as close to the right hand side of the road as conditions permit.
  • Individuals shall not operate snowmobiles in the following areas; any turfed area, sidewalk, walkway, ski trail, bicycle path, boulevard, parkland, playground, school yard, or other public property. (The only exception is the portion of the bicycle path that starts at Rosemount Avenue going West to the City limits.)
  • Individuals shall not operate snowmobiles between the hours of 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM unless it is while returning home from a trail.

Additionally, individuals operating a snowmobile must abide by the following laws as per the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act:

  • The operator must have a valid driver’s licence.
  • The operator must wear a proper helmet.
  • The snowmobile must be properly registered with a permit.
  • The snowmobile must be properly insured under a motor vehicle liability policy.

The CPS and the City of Cornwall recommend that users of Off-Road Vehicles and Snowmobiles trailer their vehicles to trail access points.

For more information, please view the following links:

Motorized Snow Vehicles Act

Highway Traffic Act

City of Cornwall By-Law 001-1996 – Motorized Snow Vehicles

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