New ATV rules could prove costly for some riders

A new muffler could cost as much as $700

New legislation requiring off-road vehicles to be equipped with spark arrestors may prove costly for some riders.

The province announced last week that every off-road vehicle operating on Crown land must have a spark arrestor as a means of reducing fire risk.

Many newer off-road vehicles already have spark arrestors, but those who own older models will need to install them. If you don’t, you could face a ticket fine of $460 or a penalty of up to $10,000.

Ed Vermette, president of the Princeton ATV Club and manager of West Coast Motor Sports, said he is “in the process” of sourcing spark arrestor add-ons, but that may not be a fix for everyone.

“It doesn’t work for every muffler, but it still works for some,” he said.

Riders who need to purchase a new muffler could be looking at a cost of between $400 and $700, he added.

“Buying a new muffler for an ATV can be as expensive or more expensive than buying one for a car.”

Vermette said he believes the new rule is “a good thing,” and that the ATV club will work to educate users.

He noted, however, that the legislation does not address people driving trucks and cars off road.

“Mufflers all produce heat,” he said, adding that in most cases a pickup truck muffler will be much closer to the ground than an ATV muffler.

The province is also increasing other related fines in advance of the 2018 fire season.

A person who starts a fire could have to pay up to $1 million, spend three years in jail, and pay for the cost of firefighting.

Failing to comply with restricted area requirements, with an order restricting an activity or use, and with an order to leave a specified area, will now cost you $1,150, up from $767.

The penalty for ignoring a stop-work order has also increased to $10,000.

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