Proposed Amendment to Ontario Highway Traffic Act Regulation 316/03.

Regulation Number(s):
O. Reg. 316/03
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
Summary of Proposal:
Currently Ontario permits only certain off-road vehicle (ORV) types (conventional 4-wheeled off-road vehicles) to ride along the side of defined provincial roadways, and municipal roadways where a municipal by-law is enabled to permit their use. In order to ride along Ontario roadways using an off-road vehicle the following criteria must be met:
• Must hold a valid licence (Minimum G2/M2)
• Must be at least 16 years old
• The ORV must be registered with insurance

In addition, ORVs must obey lower speed limits:
• on roads with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less the maximum speed for an ORV is 20km/h
• on roads with a speed limit greater than 50km/h the speed limit is 50km/h.

Despite expanding on-road access in 2015, some ORV vehicle types continue to be restricted to off-road use only. ORVs, like the ARGO and off-road motorcycles (ORMs) do not meet standards set out in regulation and are restricted to off-road use only. These restrictions create a burden for both riders and business. To address this, the government passed the Better for People Smarter for Business Act, which removes restrictions and provides authority for the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to make regulatory changes that would allow for municipalities to enable additional types of off-road vehicles on-road.

MTO does not expect there to be a significant safety impact as a result of these regulations. Most ORV riders tend to use on-road access as a means of getting from one trail to another rather than for everyday use. Further, the Ministry also recognizes that local municipalities are in the best position to decide for their local road networks whether these vehicles are appropriate for these additional off-road vehicle types. This proposal continues to provide municipalities the authority to make by-laws that would permit these additional types of ORVs on-road. If these changes are approved a municipality will need to pass a by-law after the regulation takes effect to enable these additional vehicle types. Existing by-laws permitting off-road vehicles on-road will not automatically permit these additional types.

The purpose of these proposed regulations is to reduce red tape and burden for both ORV riders and manufacturers. Manufacturers are anticipated to see an increase in sales and reduced costs in manufacturing, while the ORV riders are expected to see enhanced trail access and increased ridership opportunities as a result of being able to access more of Ontario's ORV trail network. In addition, municipalities that intend on allowing these additional off-road vehicles are expected to see benefits in tourism, as more off-road vehicle types can access local shops, restaurants, and gas stations. Overall, this proposal aligns with government priorities, by placing the needs of businesses and consumers first without compromising road safety.

This proposal will not have any direct compliance costs to businesses. There is no new burden being imposed on business, rather on-road access is being expanded to additional types of off-road vehicles; reducing burden on those users and the companies that manufacture them.

We invite you to submit comments on this proposal for MTO's consideration. Please see attached extended summary for your review.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
May 12, 2020
Comments Due Date:
May 26, 2020
Contact Address:
Ministry of Transportation
Road Safety Policy Office
Safety Policy and Education Branch
87 Sir William Hearst Avenue
Building "A", Room 212
Toronto, Ontario
M3M 0B4