ATVs and ORVs Trespassing, Destruction of Property and Farmers Crops

The has been much on the topic of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) lately with regards to where they can legally be operated in the Town of LaSalle. The short answer again is on any property that you own or any property where you have permission to operate them.

The LaSalle Police Service recently put out information explaining that ATVs and ORVs are NOT legally allowed to be operated on roadways within the Town of LaSalle. They also recently put out information explaining that ATVs and ORVs riding along the ETR tracks are causing a dangerous situation by disturbing the rocks upon which the tracks sit which could cause a derailment.

What wasn’t addressed in those two media releases, which were situation-specific, was the ongoing complaints from our residents / farmers about ATVs and ORVs trespassing on farmlands and destroying crops.

While an open field may seem like a great place to harmlessly operate an ATV or ORV it is also a great place for our farmers to raise crops and support their families. Unfortunately, both cannot occur simultaneously in the same place. Every farm field in the Town of LaSalle is privately owned by a resident who relies on the income from the yield of that crop and every plant that is destroyed by being run over or torn up by vehicles is money directly out of their pocket. Who wouldn’t expect anyone facing such a situation to become angry and frustrated at the inconsiderate actions of those who choose to operate their ATVs or ORVs without any care for the damage and financial burden they are causing.

Anyone operating their ATV or ORV on private property may face charges under the trespass to property act, the Off-Road Vehicles Act or the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act. If any damages occur the person responsible may be charged criminally with Mischief. Anyone who does not stop for a police officer when directed to do so can expect to be charged with the criminal offence of Flight under Section 249.1(1) of the Criminal Code. It is not worth compounding what may be a warning or a ticket into a criminal offence.

Before operating your ATV or ORV in the Town of LaSalle you must ask yourself:
1) Am I complying with ALL pertinent legislation whether it be By-Laws, Provincial Law and Criminal Law?
2) Am I operating my ATV or ORV in a safe manner?
3) Am I creating a dangerous situation for myself or others?
4) Am I being considerate and neighbourly, taking into consideration how my actions may affect other residents?

The bottom line is to be considerate, follow the rules and operate your ATV or ORV ONLY where you have permission or on lands that you own.