Is the Law Different For Off-Road Vehicles and Automobiles?

The Law Applicable to Off-Road Vehicles Is Somewhat Different Than the Law Applicable to Automobiles. Accordingly, Defending Against Off-Road Vehicle Charges Requires a Strong Understanding of the Nuanced Differences Between the Two Sets of Laws.

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A Helpful Guide on How to Understand and Defend Against Various Charges Involving the Off-Road Vehicles Act

Snowmobile on fresh snow with snow covered trees in background The laws that are applicable to driving an automobile may also apply to driving an off-road vehicle; however, many laws also differ with unique nuances that make for some differences in the legal strategies that are available when defending off-road vehicle charges versus defending automobile traffic tickets.

The Law
Are Snowmobile Laws and Automobile Laws the Same?

Generally, the law applicable to off-road vehicles is the Off-Road Vehicles Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.4 rather than the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 as applies to most automobiles.  Whereas the various offences, the various applicable special conditions or exceptions, and the various nuanced differences, between the laws may affect defence strategies and options for legal theories to argue, it is important and necessary to have a strong understanding of the two sets of laws and the differences within each.

Various Unique Differences Between Off-Road Vehicle Law and Automobile Law Include:

  • The requirement to snowmobile with a legally approved helmet;
  • The various differences involving the applicable speed limits;
  • The exception and conditions for towing skiers, toboggans, or other things;
  • The requirement of insurance coverage and the special exception that applies;
  • The requirement to report an accident; and
  • The various other nuances applicable to off-road vehicles.

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