The use of all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) is responsible for a large number of sports-related hospital visits in Nova Scotia.
Like drivers on the road, ATV drivers must also operate their vessels responsibly, lawfully, and with a proper level of care and respect for those around them.

The Off-Highway Vehicles Act serves to regulate the use of the vehicles that are driven off-road and are not registered under the Motor Vehicle Act. The OHVA covers safety and equipment, registration and permits, insurance, where you can ride, environmental protection, and enforcement.

The minimum age related requirements for operation of an off-highway vehicle are set out in the legislation and specific conditions must be met, particularly around safety training, if riders are under sixteen years of age.

By law, you must have liability insurance for every off-road vehicle that you or your children drive. Your insurance must also cover third-party liability. The minimum amount of liability insurance required is $500,000, as specified in the Insurance Act in Nova Scotia.

The driver and the owner are both responsible if:

  • The driver has permission to drive
  • The owner is a passenger or is watching at the time

The driver is responsible if the driver does not have permission from the owner to drive the off-highway vehicle (OHV). For example, if the driver has stolen the OHV.

Mandatory coverage must include:

  • Third party liability
  • Uninsured and unidentified automobile
  • Accident Benefits

Accident Benefits may entitle you to coverage of medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, loss of income from employment, funeral expenses, and death benefit.

Negligence can result in accidents and injuries from, but not limited to:

  • Failure to obey safe speed limits
  • Failure to have proper safety equipment
  • Failure to obey the rules the Off-Highway Vehicles Act
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs

If you or a family member has been in an ATV accident, please contact a lawyer.


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