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Old 07-02-2014, 12:30 AM
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off-roading laws in Ontario

Probably a really dumb question, but, out of curiosity, does anyone know what the laws are / fines are if someone was to get caught "illegally off roading"

I guess some ridiculous examples could be:

- driving through hydro fields
- driving down by creaks
- driving through parks etc.

Are those covered under the HTA? Possibly a reckless driving charge? Even if someone wasn't reckless per se?

or would it be some sort of trespassing charge in which the owner of the property would need to press charges against you (in which case if it was city property, it would be the city?)

Just curious...I hear about guys taking their rigs to all sorts of places which are probably more times than not "illegal"...so I am curious on what the consequences are?

I looked at the HTA quickly, but I couldn't find much...

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Old 07-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #2
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HTA does not apply to off-road.
Try the Off Road Vehicle Act & also the Trespass to Property Act.

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Old 07-02-2014, 10:52 AM
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I was referring to using the Jeep as an off-road vehicle, so it doesnt fall under any of the classifications set out by the ORV act.

I was meaning more so like if someone were to take their jeep off into a trail that they otherwise shouldn't be in...let's say private "crown" land maybe where railways go through that has overshrubbed bush etc around it...

My thoughts is they must be able to give you a reckless/stunt driving ticket, even though, what you are doing may not necessarily be "reckless"...but I would like to know for sure out of curiousity.

Also curious, if anyone has ever had cops crash a 4 wheeling jeep adventure and what the outcome was
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:23 PM   #4
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As I said the HTA does not apply.
Trespass to Property Act can apply.
As can the Criminal Code of Canada.
Parts of the ORVA can apply.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:18 PM
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As I said the HTA does not apply.
Trespass to Property Act can apply.
As can the Criminal Code of Canada.
Parts of the ORVA can apply.

Do you have any specific sections that you think apply?
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:28 AM   #6
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Seems like your fishing for something specific.
Look up the Act's I've pointed you to.
One example under the C.C.C. would be Dangerous Operation-Motor Vehicle, Sec.249(1)(a)CC
It would take far more than simply running around off-road wildly to get this charge laid. Most likely a serious accident with injuries or possibly a history of repeat offenses previously dealt with through lesser charges.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:25 AM
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Seems like your fishing for something specific.
Look up the Act's I've pointed you to.
One example under the C.C.C. would be Dangerous Operation-Motor Vehicle, Sec.249(1)(a)CC
It would take far more than simply running around off-road wildly to get this charge laid. Most likely a serious accident with injuries or possibly a history of repeat offenses previously dealt with through lesser charges.
The acts are quite large to randomly comb through.

I'm basically just looking to know what applies to someone that harmlessly decides to take their jeep through a park or fielded area that is government property, but likely not intended for a vehicle to drive. I'm talking about someone that isnt wildly driving around, and the likelyhood of people being in the area is scarce...but should an officer see this act, I'd like to know what applies.

In otherwords, if I did the above, what am I going to get nailed with...what is my risk?
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:17 PM   #8
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If you're concerned about getting into an are that is "illegal", i would highly suggest you pay the $40 and register with the OF4WD (Ontario Federation of 4 Wheel Drive Recreationists) at Ontario Federation of 4WD Recreationists

Not only do they have a detailed index/map of the "legal" trails we can use in ontario, it also outlines the type of trail (terrain, minimum requirements to run like tire size and whatnot, as well as downloadable GPS tracks). They also have Liability insurance incase you're out in the trail and something unforseen happens, you'll be covered under their insurance so long as you email them and let them know that you're going out to run the trail.

It's well worth the $40. They fight for our ability to run trails in Ontario and help to maintain the trails so we are able to use them for years to come. Check it out.

More on topic, when i was younger and not so 4x4 savy, I decided to get into an area that I should not have been in with my Dodge Ram, and when I came out of the trail there were 2 cruisers waiting. One for me and one for my friend who I was with at the time. Fortunately they didnt give us any tickets, just a stern warning along with a list of charges they could have gotten me with. Trespassing, Destroying private property (by leaving tire tracks through the mud), Break and enter (as this law also includes entering an area that is used to keep animals...Little did I know at the time, I was in the back of a farmers field where his cattle were kept. Even though they are at the time in the barn, and the gate was open, it's still considered a "pen" for animals and therefore qualifies and B&E.) ECT, as well as making me aware that they have the grounds to impound my vehicle. Not worth it in my mind...Hence the reasoning for the OF4WD, now I know that the areas I wheel are LEGAL to do so in.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Roblaza View Post
If you're concerned about getting into an are that is "illegal", i would highly suggest you pay the $40 and register with the OF4WD (Ontario Federation of 4 Wheel Drive Recreationists) at Ontario Federation of 4WD Recreationists

Not only do they have a detailed index/map of the "legal" trails we can use in ontario, it also outlines the type of trail (terrain, minimum requirements to run like tire size and whatnot, as well as downloadable GPS tracks). They also have Liability insurance incase you're out in the trail and something unforseen happens, you'll be covered under their insurance so long as you email them and let them know that you're going out to run the trail.

It's well worth the $40. They fight for our ability to run trails in Ontario and help to maintain the trails so we are able to use them for years to come. Check it out.

More on topic, when i was younger and not so 4x4 savy, I decided to get into an area that I should not have been in with my Dodge Ram, and when I came out of the trail there were 2 cruisers waiting. One for me and one for my friend who I was with at the time. Fortunately they didnt give us any tickets, just a stern warning along with a list of charges they could have gotten me with. Trespassing, Destroying private property (by leaving tire tracks through the mud), Break and enter (as this law also includes entering an area that is used to keep animals...Little did I know at the time, I was in the back of a farmers field where his cattle were kept. Even though they are at the time in the barn, and the gate was open, it's still considered a "pen" for animals and therefore qualifies and B&E.) ECT, as well as making me aware that they have the grounds to impound my vehicle. Not worth it in my mind...Hence the reasoning for the OF4WD, now I know that the areas I wheel are LEGAL to do so in.
what did they say they could impound your vehicle for?
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:08 PM   #10
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All of the above. Tresspassing, destruction of private property, ect. they could have legally arrested me and impounded my truck in the process as they cannot leave it on the side of the road.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:48 PM   #11
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I like the idea of OF4WD, even tried joining a few years ago but I believe there were web-site issues at the time, but it seems real Southern-Ontario centric. Is there not much crown land down there? Serious question, I don't know...
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:08 AM   #12
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There are a few trails In The southern part of ontario, but not many. Most crown land and trails that we can use are north...bobcaygeon, minden, Severn....
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:30 AM   #13
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hmm... your north is still my south....
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:36 AM
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So does that trespassing law exist in crown land do I wonder? Lets say you drive through a municipal park at night (one that backs onto a creek) ... You are legally able to walk through it and hang out there... But the signs say no motorized vehicles... (Assuming you enter at a point with one of those signs lol)

I get the charges they could have dinged you with on that farmers property because that is private and you legally cant walk on it either...

I just wonder if tresspassing applies to a vehicle on crown land where you can legally walk through... It certainly wouldnt be breaking and entering, but destruction of property could be a possibility...
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:21 PM   #15
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Pretty sure there's a difference between crown and public land. You can pretty much do whatever you want on actual, middle-of-nowhere Crown land, but a municipal park would be entirely different.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:56 PM
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Pretty sure there's a difference between crown and public land. You can pretty much do whatever you want on actual, middle-of-nowhere Crown land, but a municipal park would be entirely different.
so where do municipal parks fall under?

I need to just ask a cop sometime lol

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