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Thread: Under-age and Unlicensed Drivers on the Trail

  1. #1
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    Under-age and Unlicensed Drivers on the Trail

    So when I was about 14, We where off Camping on crown land / old logging roads and my dad figured this was probably a great place to get me exposed to driving, And it was where I first learnt how to drive. And what fun we had till I rolled the jeep onto its side in a snow bank, And that's where i first leant how to winch a Jeep out of the ditch.

    Is it against the law to let my under 16 child with out a G1 get there feet wet and learn to drive on the Trails ?

    And if so, What kind of penalties we I be looking at if caught ?

    Also, I was thinking about next time I'm up camping with the wife, Teaching her how to drive Standard on the trails. She currently does not have a licence.

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    Another great question....

    I will start by ensuring you are talking about a TRAIL and not any roads leading to a trail that could be considered a "highway" under the Off Road Vehicles Act, or the Highway Traffic Act. I want to make sure, because your original post says "Crown land/old logging roads". A trail can be on Crown land, yes, but an old logging road could definitely fall under the definition of a "highway". A simple test (but by no means the final word) to see if it might be a "highway" would be: could I drive a car on it? It is a lot more involved than just that, but that is a good first test.

    Having said all of the above, The only thing your youngster or wife would be able to drive on the trails, would be an "off road vehicle" registered as such (ie ATV/UTV/buggy etc). There are no provisions for unlicensed drivers to operate any other vehicle, the driver must be licenced.

    Something else for you to consider if you will still be thinking of doing this, your insurance will likely not cover any unlicenced drivers should something unfortunate happen.


    Age limit for driving

    4. (1) No owner of an off-road vehicle shall permit a child under the age of twelve to drive the vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. O.4, s. 4 (1).

    Exception

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply where the child is driving the vehicle,

    (a) on land occupied by the vehicle owner; or

    (b) under the close supervision of an adult. R.S.O. 1990, c. O.4, s. 4 (2).


    As for penalties, the owner of the vehicle is liable, as well as the person driving in contravention, for any and all offences. The out of Court settlement on these start at $110 including costs but can go up to $1000.

    Hopefully this has answered your question, if you need any clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.
    Opinions expressed are those of the author, accuracy of information posted cannot be guaranteed. These opinions in no way represent the OPP, any other Police Department or Police Officer.

  3. #3
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    Okay, So they could drive my ATV on the Trail, But not the Jeep ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReversePhase View Post
    Okay, So they could drive my ATV on the Trail, But not the Jeep ?
    Yes, correct...... ATV + Trail = Good to go

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    Now I know you can speak for every officer, but would a Officer be more likely to use some discretion provided you are not doing anything on the trails that would be consider stupid ? Acting like a jackass / out right dangerous ?
    Or more likely to enforce the rules ? What would you do ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReversePhase View Post
    Now I know you can speak for every officer, but would a Officer be more likely to use some discretion provided you are not doing anything on the trails that would be consider stupid ? Acting like a jackass / out right dangerous ?
    Or more likely to enforce the rules ? What would you do ?
    Yeah, I really can't speak to that in an open forum. As I have mentioned before though, Provincial Offences Officers are allowed discretion. Each circumstance would have to be measured on its own merit.

    There is also the insurance aspect I mentioned, that you might want to follow up on....

    The best thing I can do here is explain what the law says so you can make an informed decision.
    Last edited by ON OFFroad; 06-02-2012 at 04:12 PM.

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    If the OP were to do this on his own land, there would be no jurisdiction for this, correct? I'm thinking of something like farmers' kids learning to drive in their own fields or something.
    But our trip was different. It was to be a classic affirmation of everything right and true in the national character. A gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country. But only for those with true grit.

    And we are chock full of that, man!

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    Quote Originally Posted by salad View Post
    If the OP were to do this on his own land, there would be no jurisdiction for this, correct? I'm thinking of something like farmers' kids learning to drive in their own fields or something.
    Not to get picky, but the "no jurisdiction" thing can be a little misleading. Yes, on your own property there are many exemptions, but there are hundreds of sections to the Highway Traffic Act and it would take me forever to go through them all and list which ones apply only on a "highway". I'm sure you understand!

    You are correct in the OP's case, except that Criminal Code prohibitions would still apply.

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