Rules may be changing for ATVs on P.E.I.

Changes may be coming to rules and regulations for ATVs on Prince Edward Island.  

Proposed changes include allowing ATVs on more low-traffic roads across the Island, and increasing fines and impoundment time for illegal use of trails.

"I believe we can work together to balance the needs of ATV riders with drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and landowners," said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers in a written release Tuesday. 

"These changes to the rules are only a first step in making sure ATV riders have access to appropriate and safe trails."

Under the proposed changes, vehicles that illegally use the Confederation Trail could be impounded 30 days rather than the current 24 hours for a first offence. For subsequent offences, ATVs could be impounded 60 days rather than the current 30 days.  

The government is also proposing raising impoundment fines.

ATVs may be allowed on some roads

The province will bring forward the amendments during the fall 2019 session of the legislature, the release said.

The government is also proposing a pilot project to allow ATVs on "select low-traffic volume roads" next spring. The roads are in areas that would allow ATV riders to connect existing trails. 

Regulations will be developed over the winter and access to the roads will be granted on a case-by-case basis through permits, the release said, and the project will be evaluated for safety and effectiveness before permanent changes are made.

Meanwhile, Myers said, the government will continue talks with the P.E.I. ATV Federation on the controversial topic of allowing ATVs to cross the Confederation Trail. The federation says it is trying to create a province-wide trail system that could be a valuable tourism product, and it needs to be able to cross Confederation Trail to do that.

The federation has given government a list of proposed crossing locations.

"We are assessing these locations to see if they would be suitable for overpasses or underpasses," Myers said in the release. 

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