Off-Road Vehicles on Township of Hamilton Roads

On April 1, 2022, Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) will be permitted to drive on Hamilton Township roads during certain hours as part of a pilot project approved by Township Council in 2021. The decision to implement the pilot project was made by Council following changes to the Highway Traffic Act, extensive public consultation, and debate.  

ORVs include All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides, and Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs) as defined under the Off-Road Vehicles Act, 1990 and O.Reg 316/03: Operation of Off-Road Vehicles on Highways. Please note that Off-Road Motorcycles (ORM) and Extreme Utility Vehicles (6-8 wheels) are not permitted to drive on Township roads under this pilot project. In addition, golf carts are not considered ORVs under the regulations and are not permitted to ride on roads.  

Riding ORVs on Township Roads and Pilot Project Details

Pilot Project Time Frame
  • April 1 to November 30, 2022 
ORV Hours of Operation on Roads during Pilot Project
  • Dawn until Dusk from April 1 to November 30, 2022
Applicable and Excluded Roads

Applicable Roads

  • ORVs are permitted to ride on all 299km of Township of Hamilton roads during the pilot project.
  • ORVs are permitted to ride on the following sections of County Roads within the Township under Northumberland County By-law #27-2022:
    • County Road #9 (Oak Ridges Drive) from Rice Lake Drive South to Main Street
    • County Road #18 (Burnham Street North) from Hillview Drive to Lakeshore Drive
    • County Road #45 (Baltimore Road) from Hickerson Road to Meyers Road
    • County Road #74 (Dale Road) from Ontario Street to Cornish Hollow Road
    • County Road #74 (Dale Road) from Division Street North to Racetrack Road

Excluded Roads

The ORV Pilot Project does not permit ORVs to ride on any portion of a  Northumberland County road outside of the exempted sections listed above. Excluded roads include:

  • County Road 2
  • County Road 9 (Oak Ridges Drive) - See exception noted above.
  • County Road 15 (Harwood Road)
  • County Road 18 (Burnham St. N) - See exception noted above.
  • County Road 28
  • County Road 45 (Baltimore Road) - See exception noted above.
  • County Road 74 (Dale Road) - See exceptions noted above.
ORV Speed Limits on Township Roads

Below are the speed limits that all ORVs riding on Township Roads must follow as defined in By-law #2021-48:

  • 20km/h in 50km/h or less zones
  • 30km/h in 60km/h zones
  • 50km/h in 80km/h zones
Governing By-law and List of Fines and Charges

Governing By-law

List of Fines and Charges

The following fines are identified and defined within the by-law:

  • Operating an ORV after dusk on November 30th and before dawn on April 1st - $200.00
  • Operating an ORV between dusk and dawn - $200
  • Having a modified exhaust system on an ORV - $200.00

Additional fines and charges exist under the Highway Traffic Act and other Acts for violations associated with speeding infractions, no proof of insurance, not wearing a helmet, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, impaired operation of a motor vehicle, and more. 

Pilot Project Next Steps

Education Campaign

During the pilot project, Township staff will work closely with community stakeholders, such as local businesses, residents, ATV Associations, and the Northumberland OPP, on an education campaign to ensure riders and non-riders alike are aware of ORVs on the roads, the pilot project, riding etiquette, and the rules for riding on Township roads.

Pilot Project Data Collection

Township staff will gather data throughout the pilot project to determine if ORVs should be permitted to ride on Township Roads on a more permanent basis. Data will be collected relating to:

  • Community Support
  • Economic and Social Impacts
  • Public Education Initiatives
  • Enforcement and Non-Compliance Issues
  • Impacts on Road and Township Infrastructure

This data will be collected through a variety of methods, including public consultation, internal processes, and police reports.

Report to Council

Following data collection and analysis, a staff report will be presented to Council in 2023 for debate and decision on whether ORVs should continue to be permitted to use Township roads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to wear a helmet when riding my ORV on Township roads?

Yes. In accordance to the Highway Traffic Act, all ORV riders must wear a helmet when operating an ORV on Township Roads. 

Use of Helmets will be enforced by Northumberland OPP and are subject to fines under the Highway Traffic Act.

Do I need to have insurance for my ORV when riding on Township roads?

Yes. In accordance to the Highway Traffic Act, all ORV riders must have appropriate insurance when operating an ORV on Township Roads.

Proof of insurance will be enforced by Northumberland OPP and is subject to fines under the Highway Traffic Act.

If I modify the exhaust system on my ORV, can I drive it on Township roads?

No. Modified exhaust systems on ORVs are not permitted in the Township. Modifications and noise in excess of regular ridership will be enforced by Northumberland OPP and authorized private security companies. Violations are subject to a $200.00 fine under By-law #2021-48.

What are the speed limits for ORVs on Township Roads? 

By-law #2021-48 identifies the following speed limits for ORVs on Township roads: 

  • 20km/h in 50km/h or less zones
  • 30km/h in 60km/h zones
  • 50km/h in 80km/h zones

Speed limits will be enforced by Northumberland OPP and are subject to fines under the Highway Traffic Act.

I have a complaint about ORVs on Township Roads, who do I contact? 

Please contact the Northumberland OPP at 9-1-1 for emergencies or 905-372-5421 for non-emergencies for ORV-related complaints relating to:

  • Speed while driving on roads
  • Riders without helmets
  • Modified exhaust systems / noise in excess of regular ridership
  • Damage to private property
  • Trespassing
  • Riding in public parks
  • Dangerous operation of an ORV
  • Suspected impaired driver

Please contact the Township of Hamilton for ORV-related complaints relating to:

  • Damage to road infrastructure (signs, ditches, road shoulders, road surface)
  • Damage to public parks, riding in public parks
I want to compliment the Township for allowing ORVs on Township Roads, who do I contact?

A public survey with comments section will be made available at the end of the pilot project.

I'm a Hamilton Township business and would like to provide educational materials about riding ORVs in the Township to my customers, who do I contact?

To request educational and promotional materials like posters and leaflets about riding ORVs on Township roads, riding etiquette, the pilot project and more, please email the Clerks Office. 

Additional Resources

Documents
Press Releases
Web Links