No ATVs on local roads

Dear Editor:

We, the Minto Safe Communities Committee, strongly oppose allowing the use of ATVs on public roads in the Town of Minto.

To support our claim, we would like to refer to a study conducted by Public Health Ontario published in April 2019, entitled The Epidemiology of All-Terrain Vehicle and Snowmobile Related Injuries in Ontario.

In this 56-page report, it is pointed out that in 2015 and 2016 as it relates to ATVs, there were 11,091 emergency room visits, of which 1,011 required hospitalization. Children under the age of 16 and males presented a large proportion of these injuries. It found that the most common cause of death on ATVs was due to head and neck injuries.

The report points out that there are a number of ATV-related behaviors that are associated with a higher risk of injury, including the use of ATVs for recreation instead of work purposes, the use of alcohol while driving, driving at night, having multiple passengers and engaging in risky driving such as driving at high speeds.

This and other studies available, confirm that ATVs driven at higher speeds, because of their low pressure tires and high center of gravity, are more prone to tip over or go out of control on pavement or gravel and that over half of ATV deaths occurred on private or public roads.

Even the ATV manufacturers  themselves specify that these vehicles should not be operated on pavement or dirt roads. For example, in a Polaris ATV manual in a section entitled: “Operating on pavement”, it states, “The vehicle’s tires are designed for Off-Road use ONLY, not for operating on paved surfaces. It may adversely affect the handling and increase the risk of control and accidental rollover.”

We firmly believe that allowing ATVs on public roads in Minto will be a big mistake.

Angelle Eybel,
Chairperson, Minto Safe
Communities Committee