by Vance Gutzman
Don’t expect to see dirt bikes on the roads and streets of Laurentian Hills anytime soon. Not legally, anyhow.
As of July 1, the province expanded the types of off-road vehicles permitted on roads to two additional types – extreme terrain vehicles (semi-amphibious with six or more wheels) and off-road motorcycles (more commonly known as dirt bikes).
Municipalities may permit their use on municipal roadways through the creation or amendment of bylaws.
The matter came before the municipality`s protection to persons and property committee last month and Mayor Jed Reinwald, while acknowledging that Laurentian Hills already allows licensed all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides on its roadways, was not conducive to extending that privilege to dirt bikes.
“I’m not in favour of dirt bikes,” Reinwald said.
Councillor John Hoyle, on the other hand, suggested that, as long as dirt bikes are plated, noise concerns shouldn’t be an issue.
“If your dirt bike is plated you can’t have the loud pipes,” Hoyle said.
“I’m in favour of this, as long as they’re plated.”
The mayor was dissuaded by that argument, and spoke from personal experience on the matter.
“As a younger adult I used to ride motocross a lot,” Reinwald said.
“Nothing upset people more than when I was on that bike. I’m still not in favour of it.”
The committee decided, in the end, to leave its existing bylaw the way it is, to the exclusion of dirt bikes and extreme terrain vehicles.
“If people in Laurentian Hills are opposed to it, I’m sure they’ll let us know,” Councillor Brenda Blimkie said of retaining the status quo.
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