Bylaw to open off-road opportunities

The District of Sicamous is fine-tuning an off-road vehicle bylaw that will allow for ATVs and snowmobiles to access local trails from town via designated routes. File photo

Work is well underway on a bylaw that would permit the use of off-road vehicles in the District of Sicamous.

A draft of the off-road vehicle bylaw was on the agenda for Sicamous council’s the July 12 committee of the whole meeting. Coun. Gord Bushell says it is still a work in progress, as the district continues to to fine-tune the bylaw with input from the province and other agencies. This includes a recent conference call between the district, the RCMP, ICBC and a representative from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

“So we just had a conversation and went through our bylaw and the regulations on how other communities are doing it,” said Bushell. “And maybe we’ll be looking at a test model too, like Chase is doing with the golf carts.

“We still have a little bit of work to do… we’re getting close. We’re working on some designated routes and things like that. The idea is just to get people to and from the hills, direct routes.”

Included with the draft bylaw is a map of proposed roads riders of sleds, and ATVs could use to directly access backcountry trails in the area. These “destination routes” include Sicamous’ “treed” streets, (Cedar, Maple, Pine and Spruce), Riverside Avenue, Finlayson Street, the highway frontage and roads connected to trail destination areas. Off-road vehicles would also be allowed to cross the Trans-Canada/Highway 97A signalled intersection.

“By law you’re allowed to cross the highway without any permits at all so long as you cross at a controlled intersection, controlled means a light or a sign,” said Bushell. “They do it in other communities. One thing about Sicamous though is we don’t have that cold, bitter weather that retains the snow. So you’ll need a little bit of snow to do that with.”

Regarding all designated routes, the current draft of the bylaw states no person shall operate an off-road vehicle on them “unless the use is for access to out-of-town trails via the shortest possible route.” In addition, off-road vehicles, be they ATV of snowmobile, are only allowed to use designated routes a half hour after sunrise to a half hour before sunset.

Drivers of off-road vehicles will be required to carry third-party liability insurance of at least $2 million and the vehicle must be registered with ICBC. Insurance is one aspect of the bylaw that is still being worked on. Bushell explains the higher risk associated with riding in town alongside motor vehicle traffic means a higher insurance rate for off-road vehicles.

“The risk is very low so the cost is very low – so for a quad, it’s like $28 that goes to ICBC,” said Bushell. “But if you’re in Chase and you’re doing a golf cart on the street, your insurance would actually be like $300… So we’re working out the bugs on the insurance.

“That would be up to the rider whether he wants to have insurance to operate on the roads – it’s mandatory on the mountains and it would have to be mandatory on the roads.”

Bushell adds the district is looking at having an annual licence sticker available for purchase that would show riders are properly insured to ride along designated routes.

The long-term vision of the bylaw, says Bushell, is to help grow Sicamous’ off-road vehicle/sledding industries, “especially in spring and fall when you have that lull, from September right through to November.”

newsroom@saobserver.net

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet Snakes in BCHL simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Second million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Same thing happened on March 7; somebody won Guaranteed Match Number prize

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

Column: Keeping distance, working together and readying for rebound

Council Report by Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Okanagan garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain in Kelowna

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Most Read