With the warmer weather upon us, many Manitobans are eager to get outside and enjoy the outdoors which may include riding off-road vehicles (ORVs). The Manitoba RCMP wants to remind operators of the laws of ORVs to ensure a safe ride.

Most of the laws around ORVs fall under the Off Road Vehicles Act. For details, please refer to the Act, but here are some general rules to keep in mind when riding an ORV:

  • Anyone under the age of 14 must have direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is a minimum of 18 years of age. Youth over the age of 14 can ride without parental supervision, but cannot cross a roadway until they obtain a valid driver’s licence.
  • All ORV operators and riders must wear properly fastened safety helmets unless the vehicle is equipped with rollover protection and the occupants are wearing securely fastened seat belts.
  • ORVs are not to be operated on roadways, shoulders, medians of divided roadways, or sidewalks
  • ORVs are permitted to be in the ditch, provided travel is in the same direction as vehicle traffic, the ORV is to the right of the roadway and the shoulder, and the ORV is being operated in an area where ORV use is permitted. Always remember to be on the lookout for hazards in the ditch, such as culverts, driveway approaches, and road signs
  • No riding on privately owned or leased land without permission; within 30 metres of a dwelling that is not yours between midnight and 7:00 am; within 30 metres of a playground/area set aside for recreation that is not fully fenced; in a careless manner or without reasonable consideration for other persons and property
  • When conditions are dry, use caution as sparks from an ORV can ignite grass and branches, starting a fire
  • Be aware of local bylaws in the area you are riding
  • Impaired driving laws apply to ALL motorized vehicles. Only operate an ORV when sober and alert

In 2021, RCMP in Manitoba responded to 8 fatal collisions involving ORVs and 58 collisions where serious injury occurred. Contributing factors in these collisions included speed, no helmet and impaired driving.

RCMP remind operators that knowledge and safety are key and to be aware of the rules in place in the area where riding.