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Canada Initiates Off-Highway Vehicle Pilot Project

2018-10-29 14:40 Monday


Thanks to the low crude oil prices, sales of recreational off-highway vehicles have seen robust growth. More than 166,000 units of recreational off-highway vehicles were sold in 2017 –outpacing diesel and electric vehicles.

Off-Highway Vehicle

To date, North America has developed into the largest global market for off-highway recreational vehicles, with sales expected to surpass 159,000 units by 2018, the bulk of which is in the U.S. Markets across Europe and Asia have also experienced impressive growth.

However, concerns about the safety of off-highway vehicles remain widespread. Mounting accidents and fatalities associated with off-highway vehicles have led to bans and restrictions in many countries. Furthermore, off-highway vehicles have to undergo rigorous road testing before they hit the market in the remaining markets that allow for their sale.

Local ATV Clubs have been dedicated to making off-highway vehicles more accessible. In the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, their efforts paid dividents. The All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Nova Scotia encouraged members of the 42 ATV Clubs in the province to lobby politicians and other authorities to allow for highway travel and road accessibility in various communities.

On October 1st, provincial government unveiled its long-awaited off-highway vehicle (OHV) pilot project.

The pilot project will allow off-highway vehicles at six specific locations across Nova Scotia to legally travel along the highway shoulder, as long as they observe the rules and regulations that are designed for the highway travel trials.

The off-highway vehicles in the pilot project must be officially registered, licensed and insured, and vehicles that are not owned by the driver are forbidden to participate. Furthermore, the drivers must have a valid driver's license, and passengers under the age of nine  are forbidden during the pilot project. The license plate must be attached to the vehicle and clearly visible, and novice drivers are not allowed to take part in the project.

The speed limit in the pilot areas is  capped at 25 km/h, and off-highway vehicles can only travel on the road from between 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes before dusk. In addition they must be driven in the same direction as traffic using the same side of the highway.

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