Pilot project will allow ATVs on some N.S. highways
ATVs will have legal access to certain sections of highways in 6 communities as of Oct. 1
The provincial government is asking Nova Scotians to start sharing the road — or at least some of it — with all-terrain vehicles.
Beginning Oct. 1, ATVs will have legal access to 14 kilometres of provincial roads. The access does not extend to the 100-series highways.
Barry Barnet, executive director of the ATV Association of Nova Scotia (ATVANS), says the plan is to start small.
"We've looked at sites and identified sites that we believe are safe, reasonable places where people can ride on the shoulder."
The Transportation Department and ATVANS picked sections of roadways in six communities:
- Porters Lake 0.1 km
- New Germany 0.2 km
- Weymouth 1.8 km
- Walton 3.8 km
- Sherbrooke 2.5 km
- Gabarus 5.5 km
Depending on the success of the three-year pilot, Ship Harbour, Nappan and Milton may also be added.
In most of the selected locations, ATVs would be allowed to drive along the shoulder of the road, and in some cases the paved portion, in order to connect from one trail to another — or in the case of Walton, in order to reach a local pub.
"Right now it's happening in Nova Scotia in an illegal way," Barnet said. "We want to just legalize current activities so that it's safe and responsible and everybody knows what they're doing."
Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines said the province is putting up signs along the roads and will use social media to spread word of the changes.
He said the pilot project is long overdue and Nova Scotia is lagging behind when it comes to taking advantage of the economic benefits that happen when ATVs are given access to roads.
"As in everything in our society, there is evolution," said Hines.