Letters to the Editor – November 2019 – ATVs

Coming to Your Street Next

ATVs aren’t designed to be driven on roads and are dangerous both on and off road.  They shouldn’t be allowed on our roads.  A report by Public Health Ontario – “The Epidemiology of All-Terrain and Snowmobile Injuries in Ontario” states that during 2014 and 2015 there were over 15,000 injuries at hospitals due to ATVs or snowmobiles.  Many injuries were to children.  Many were due to high risk behaviour by riders.  This places a burden on an over worked, under funded health care system and takes resources away from essential health care services. The financial cost is borne by taxpayers.

‘Word’ in the community is that allowing ATVs on Cavan roads is a foregone conclusion.  In 2011, Mayor McFadden voted in their favour.  Earlier this year, he encouraged KATVA to “keep up the momentum”.   Council members must remember to protect the rights of constituents who live here, most of whom don’t want ATVs on their roads, not the wishes of ATV group members, most of whom don’t live here.

The president of the KATVA says – “It’s not as scary as people seem to think it is.” Read the FACTS in the report.  It is indeed, very scary.  Of the 35 regions in Ontario, Haliburton-Kawartha-Pineridge, and Durham – our neighbouring regions, were among the highest for recorded injuries from ATVs.  Once ATVs are allowed on roads, the number of injuries and fatalities will rise. Given the high-risk behaviour of ATV drivers, there will be mayhem on the roads.

Elizabeth Clovis, Cavan resident

In reading the letters to the editor re: the legalization of ATV/ORV traffic, I  would like to add my voice to those who are very worried about the damaging effects caused by these vehicles. The list of negative effects caused by these vehicles is a very long one; the list of positive effects is a very short one.

Globally, environmental concerns have become alarming and with a federal election looming are centre stage. Humanity has a wonderful and remarkable world to enjoy, but with that opportunity comes a responsibility to ourselves and other life forms to maintain that beauty with care and gentleness.

It is our council’s onerous responsibility to represent the people to whom they have been given charge for the care of their safety and concerns. Democracies are theoretically ruled by the majority; do the majority of the ratepayers of Cavan Monaghan want these vehicles given free and legal access to the roads here? Are we being influenced by outside sources with no stake in this part of the world except to exploit it?

John Collins, Zion Line

First let me be clear.  I am against the use of ATVs on our municipal roads. I own one, which I use as a tool, and am aware that they are not recommended for use on roads because they are not designed to be used on roads and operated at high speeds. There are many arguments to be put forward as to why these ATVs used as “toys” should not be used on our roads.

One argument I hear as to why the owners should be allowed to drive them on our roads is so they can more easily get to the parks were they intend to play with them.  I would say, they purchased this toy under the present conditions and now they want the rules changed to accommodate their wishes at a cost to others.  That does not seem fair!

Put your ATV on a trailer and take it where you want to play and keep it all legal, just like boat owners do.

David Barr, Cavan

The Kawartha ATV Association’s (KATVA) request for access to our municipal roads to connect to existing trails is controversial enough, for reasons already stated in previous letters.  What really caught my attention though was the additional request to have road access to Millbrook for fuel, food and supplies.

Picture that scene if you will.  There could be any number of ATV’s rolling into town any day of the week to reload and then roar off again.   Can you still hear me?! Yeah, that’s the concern, all right NOISE…. And lots of it.  Those residents of “East City” contend with motorcycles and trucks heading out of town, climbing either County Rd. 10 north or south, or County Rd. 21 east.  Coming into town, you get the occasional commercial truck driver trying to save money on break wear by using their “jake brakes” to slow down their vehicles.

Add in ongoing construction, back-up beepers, dogs and a confused rooster- well, you get the picture.  One expects a certain level of noise in an active village, but it has increased dramatically over the past five years, and KATVA’s request to add to the din seems excessive to me.  Don’t be sweet-talked into trial periods or full cooperation.  Once the proverbial tire gets in the door, you will never see their taillights again.  It’s time to speak up while we can still be heard!

Harry Rekker, Millbrook

I would like to state that I am in support of ORVs being allowed access to the roads in Cavan Monaghan Township.  There is a lot of misinformation out there right now about this that I would like to try to correct.  A group of local residents asked KATVA to assist them in getting access to the roads, that is why KATVA is part the process.  ORV operators must have a valid driver’s licence and the ORV must be insured and have a licence plate to ride on roads.  ORVs at point of sale must not exceed emission and noise levels as set out by governing bodies, and there are speed limits for ORV use on roads.  Past experience has shown that, when it is legal to ride on roads, ORV operators don’t feel they need to rush so they slow down.  If access allowing ORVs to drive on the roads, KATVA has a group of volunteers that patrol the roads stopping and educating the operators about where they can ride and the appropriate travel speeds.  KATVA also has certified ATV Safety Instructors that are always talking to people about safe ways to ride.

There has been a lot of talk about emissions and the carbon footprint caused by ORV’s.  Most of us drive an automobile, use a gas-powered lawnmower or heat by oil or gas so we all create a carbon footprint.  Some people support the local theatre as do I and I want to see them succeed, but I have to ask those people, what about the carbon footprint caused by the thousands of vehicles that attend the theatre each year.

There are a lot of ORV owners in Cavan Monaghan Township and we should be able to enjoy our chosen recreational sport the same as other township residents chose other sports.

Don Chapman, Carmel Line, Millbrook

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