by Shaun McLaughlin
Lanark County Council just passed a by-law to allow ATVs to use all county roads except for three urban areas. Mississippi Mills Council had asked that public consultations be held first in this municipality, but the county ignored that request. While no councillors objects to ATV use in rural areas, the majority on Mississippi Mills Council felt that people living in Appleton, Clayton, Blakeney and Pakenham should be asked for input. County Council passed the by-law over the objections of the County’s director of roads. He wanted a more restrictive by-law.
Mississippi Mills currently has no by-law regarding ATV use on town roads.
The following comes from a County press release:
“[County] Council has passed a bylaw to permit the operation of all-terrain vehicles on county roads, except in Perth, Carleton Place and Almonte. The bylaw sets out numerous provisions, including speed limits: ATVs cannot be driven at speeds of greater than 20 kilometres per hour on roads with limits of not greater than 50 km/h, and they cannot exceed 50 km/h on roads with speed limits of greater than 50 km/h. The county has established a curfew prohibiting ATV operation between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. on county roads. Other provisions include the necessity of having reflective strips on all four sides of the vehicles and no chains or studs on the tires. ATVs must be driven in the same direction as traffic on the same side of the road, and multiple ATVs must ride in single file. As well, they must be driven on the shoulder or, if there is no shoulder, as close to the right edge of the road surface as possible. When making a left turn, ATVs can move away from the shoulder or right edge when it is safe to do so.”
Note: while the County restricts ATVs in Almonte, ATV riders can use Highway 29 and Wolf Grove Road within the ward boundaries.