Now that the snow and the cold have allowed the volunteers to do their work to provide quality trails for ATV riders, it is absolutely necessary to respect the traffic rules.
“With the latest snowfall, the trails are quite open across Quebec. The importance of always riding on the trails takes on its full importance, explains the person in charge of special files at the Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs, Mr. Danny
Gagnon. The trails are equipped with blue beacons. You must therefore always follow them and drive carefully, respecting other road users. »
In all cases, the right to travel on rights-of-way or public land is subject to certain specific rules.
“Users are obliged to respect certain traffic rules that apply in the case, for example, of a trail that takes a road in a municipality or near residences. So, the speed limit is 30 km/h when you are in residential areas, and even on trails near residences. The clubs also have major obligations in this matter. To inform users who are traveling on a road with an ATV or who are crossing a road, there must be a sign that authorizes crossing or driving along a road. »
These special permissions, in compliance with the articles of law, do not happen by a miracle.
“Clubs must meet with elected municipal officials to negotiate rights of way. Municipal regulations are also required if roadside traffic extends more than one kilometer. It requires a resolution from the municipal council if it is over a shorter distance. »
Clubs also have several rules to follow when installing their signage.
“For road crossings, depending on the speed allowed on the road to be crossed, clubs must comply with specific standards, in particular for visibility. This means that it is not always easy for clubs to position road crossings. »
It therefore becomes very important to respect the rules, so as not to have to experience major problems.
“If we come to traffic in an anarchic way, this can have direct effects on the permission to circulate. Indeed, if a municipality registers several complaints from citizens, it can withdraw the right of way. This can penalize all users, hence the importance of respecting the rules,” explains the expert.
Now the sign that allows you to drive on the side of the road is a sign showing an ATV in blue. This lets motorists know that there is ATV traffic on that stretch of road.
“Being able to travel on the road with an off-road vehicle is a privilege,” explained Mr. Gagnon. No one is forced to let us pass. Traffic on the road can be done in exceptional circumstances or to have access to services. You always have to remember that. »
A good example of this kind of situation is crossing a river on a bridge, in common with automobiles, because it is the only way to do it. If we do not want to lose these privileges and especially not to destroy the work of club volunteers, we must respect the rules.
When quad biking in winter, the rules are very different due to the cold and snow conditions. Last fall, in an interview at Journal, FQCQ monitor Pierre Tremblay had given a series of very important tips. Remember to check the entire electrical system because it will be particularly stressed due to heating equipment. A check of the battery is essential because it will be necessary for starts in very cold weather. Lowering tire pressure provides better traction. The expert recommends always having a reserve of gas with you because a quad consumes more in winter, especially when conditions change quickly. For clothing, he advises to practice multi-layering, namely to leave at the start with less clothing on the back, but to have a reserve to increase the insulation for the return at the end of the evening. All protective equipment, such as helmet, goggles, boots that protect the ankles, are part of this advice. To find out more, take a driving course offered by FQCQ instructors. The list by region appears on the site www.fqcq.qc.ca.