Signatures still being gathered by group against ORVs on Lindsay streets
Council to decide on issue Sept. 21
A grassroots group that doesn’t want to see ORVs (also called ATVs) allowed on Lindsay streets is still gathering signatures until at least Aug. 25. The group is waiting to see if the committee of the whole will accept the petition.
Council will receive a staff report and vote on a recommendation at the Sept. 7 committee of the whole, with a decision expected by council on Sept. 21.
“Recreational ATVs do not belong on roads with pedestrians, kids, bikes, school buses and seniors” says Lindsay resident Lesley Barrett in a press release from the group.
The local health unit’s medical officer of health, Dr. Natalie Bocking, told council there are higher rates of fatalities on road than off-road when it comes to ORV use. Kawartha Lakes ORV hospitalization rate is already five times greater than the rest of Ontario rate and is rising.
“When the medical officer of health tells you that the ATV rates of hospital visits…are increasing, and that allowing more ATVs on roads will result in more fatalities, council should listen” says Lindsay resident, Bill Steffler.
If passed, the proposed ATV route through Lindsay would allow anyone 16 or older with a G2 or M2 license to drive recreational ATVs through Lindsay to get to other trails with passengers as young as eight. Despite warnings from manufacturers and experts, that ATVs are designed for off-road use only and that their design makes them a risk to drive on hard surfaces, there is no requirement for special training or license testing like that required for boating or motorcycles, says the media release.
Where municipalities experienced increased ATV traffic on roads due to Bill 107 (a bill that amends highway traffic) the results have “been devastating,” according to the release, with Penetanguishene Police Services Board reporting the highest numbers of ATV related deaths in 14 years.
As well, the Star reported in June that ORV fatalities reached a 14-year-high in 2020.
Peterborough and Northumberland Counties have very restricted ATV access on roads. Durham Region does not allow ATVs on their roads. Peterborough County recently denied ATV access to ATVs on county roads in North Kawartha. Cavan Monaghan passed a bylaw prohibiting ATVs, and Brock Township has prohibited ATVs except for ice fishing.
The petition is available online at the City’s Jumpin website: https://jumpinkawarthalakes.ca/online-petitions/survey_tools/online-petition-005.