GFN recently put a new bylaw in place that limits the use of off-road vehicles across Gitga’at territory. Regulating these types of vehicles will help protect the lives and property of members.
Why We Need Bylaws
Bylaws prevent problems, establish procedures, and keep community members safe. They are a set of laws within a community that protect members from nuisance, promote and maintain safety and public health, and minimize the potential for offensive behaviour.
An Overview of the New Off-Road Vehicle Bylaw
The new Gitga’at off-road vehicle bylaw became effective on March 14, 2023. Under this bylaw, owners, and users of off-road vehicles must now comply with the established rules if they want to use these types of transportation.
Failure to follow the rules of this bylaw may result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days.
What’s Considered an Off-Road Vehicle?
An off-road vehicle is classified as:
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
Four-wheel drive or low-pressure tire motor vehicles
Low-pressure tire motorcycles and related two-wheel motor vehicles
Miniature motor vehicles
Three-wheel motorized cycles
Do you have an off-road vehicle that’s not on this list? Please contact the Gitga’at administration team to learn whether this bylaw applies to your vehicle.
Where Can You Drive an Off-Road Vehicle?
The bylaw states that off-road vehicles cannot be driven on any community reserve land other than roadways, private driveways, or private roads—providing they have the property owner’s permission. You may also drive these vehicles in areas where off-road vehicles have been expressly authorized by notice and approved by Council.
Other Rules Under the New Bylaw
The area where you drive your off-road vehicle is only part of the bylaw. Some of the additional rules under this bylaw include the following:
No driving faster than 20 km/hour
No power turns on any roadway on Gitga’at reserve
Prohibited use in cemeteries, parks, playgrounds, baseball fields, walking trails, community housing areas, or other community reserve land
No driving without consideration for other people or property
No operating the vehicle in the half hour before sunrise or sunset unless it has an operational headlight
No passengers (unless the vehicle is designed to accommodate one), and no towing passengers
Drivers must be over the age of 14 unless directly supervised by a guardian
No distracted driving or driving under the influence
Drivers and passengers must wear helmets
Drivers must comply with ATV bylaw parking regulations
Bylaws Keep Members and Guests Safe
Implementing new bylaws is not intended to limit your enjoyment across Gitga’at territory; it’s a way to ensure everyone plays safely to avoid accidents, injury, and more.
Learn the full details and rules of this and other bylaws on the Gitga’at website.