Chatham resident and ATV rider Loretta Howie, December 7, 2015 (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)Chatham resident and ATV rider Loretta Howie, December 7, 2015 (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

Mixed Reviews On Draft ATV Bylaw

After hearing from both opponents and proponents of ATVs in Chatham-Kent, municipal council has voted to take another look at a potential bylaw.

Representatives from the Kent and Ontario Federations of Agriculture told councillors they worry about ATVs causing injuries and damage to rural property. However, Chatham resident and ATV user Loretta Howie says the few who misuse the vehicles shouldn't ruin the activity for everyone else.

"Damage to property is usually done by juvenile riders who don't have any respect. And if you're a safe rider, you're a healthy rider. You're not going to get hurt."

Howie has collected a petition of 875 riders who support an ATV bylaw. But it looks like it will take some time before any draft bylaw comes to fruition. Councillor Darrin Canniff proposed the review, and says there's a lot of hurdles to jump when introducing a new bylaw.

"We've talked about the safety elements, the liability elements, and trespassing. All these things need to be addressed. That's the purpose of this new look, it's to study those and say 'can we get past this?'"

Staff will draw up a new draft and provide an interim report to council at a later date, regarding issues like liability waivers, licence fees and a trial period.

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