Car-like vehicles called side-by-sides are taking over the all-terrain vehicle industry, but provincial laws still see them as different from the quads they are now outselling.
A salesman at Mid-City Motorsports in Sudbury said car-like comforts such as stereos and bucket seats have sales soaring — to the point side-by-sides outsell quads two-to-one.
But Mitch Garneau said many customers also mention how the side-by-sides are not allowed on roads the way four-wheelers are.
"[With] the amount of side-by-sides we sell a year — a couple hundred a year — [government officials] have to do something soon," he said.
The president of ATV Ontario agrees and says the province is not keeping it's laws up to date with the fast-moving off-road industry.
"[They need to] keep a watchful eye on this whole industry because it's changing every single year as new innovations come into it," Andrew Ryeland said.
Too many collisions
But Todd Fullerton from the Ministry of Transportation said he is keeping an eye on what's happening with side-by-sides.
He noted there are still too many collisions involving four-wheelers in the cities and towns that permit them to consider expanding what's allowed on the roads.
"They're not designed for use on pavement or in mixed traffic," Fullerton said.
Quebec has been experimenting with side-by-side ATVs on roadways for the past two years, and Fullerton said he's eager to see what was discovered.
Garneau said, on top of the increased comforts of bucket seats and stereos offered in side-by-sides, customers are also more interested in a safer ride.
"It's safer because you got seatbelts like a car and you got roll bars if you do flip them over," he said. "Whereas, in an ATV, you're on your own."