In this column, last Tuesday, I told you about certain changes in the version of the new law, including the one requiring that the wearing of a helmet is no longer mandatory for side-by-side with cabin. I had been misled unintentionally.
This statement was made to me by the general manager of the Fédération québécoise des clubs quads, Mr. Danny Gagnon, who relied, in good faith, on his understanding of the text of section 52 of the new law. He was played a little trick because the regulations concerning this article were not yet written.
Several quad riders asked the FQCQ questions about the definition of what a cage was on a side-by-side. Federation officials therefore contacted the Ministry of Transport on this subject and here is the response from the authorities:
- Section 52 applies only to UTV category vehicles which are used for work and which have a maximum speed of 30 kilometers per hour (Kubota, Gator, BobCat, John Deere). However, the regulation of this article will soon be published in order to properly regulate the use.
- Section 52 does not apply to ROV side-by-side trail type vehicles.
- The helmet remains mandatory for all side-by-side type recreational vehicles.
ARTICLES AND REGULATIONS
The most important statement in the MTQ’s response is in the following passage.
“We currently have in hand Bill 71, which has 160 articles of law, 80% of which are subject to regulation,” explained the Director General of the Federation, Mr. Danny Gagnon. We can say, you can do this or you are not allowed to do it, but, in the articles, it is often mentioned that it is conditional on the regulations that the government could put in place. It is the regulations that will define the conditions and authorizations in connection with the article cited. “
Finally, it should be understood that the article of law provides a basis to which the government will add regulations.
“Last week we discussed the article on side-by-side vehicles. The regulations will specify which type can be used on the trail, under which conditions, and also under which conditions one cannot wear a helmet. Finally, the article of the law presents the main lines and the regulation defines precisely what is in violation and what is authorized under the regulation. “
So the law with its articles has been presented, but all that is regulation is not yet written.
“Quad enthusiasts will have to be careful and understand that if they consult the law, they must wait until the regulations attached to each of the articles are well drafted. We had asked to have the regulations affecting the articles at the same time as the law, but that was not the case. A concrete example is in the case of the obligation to have a driving license to circulate with a quad. Yes, article 151 mentions it, except that a regulation has been attached to it which says that the license will not be compulsory before next September. However, it has been advertised everywhere that from now on, the driving license is compulsory. “
The error therefore occurred in good faith, with no intention of misleading fans.
Some people contacted me to ask me questions which I answered with what I had on February 4th. The precision of the FQCQ was not available before.
Others, on the other hand, did not hesitate to treat me cavalierly, insinuating that I knew nothing and much more. I will spare you the disgraceful terms used. But what is most important is that now the case is clear. You must wear a helmet when hiking side-by-side on trails, cabin or not, at all times.
Even though the law went into effect on December 31, it seems that the final text, including regulations in articles that will contain them, will not be available until the fall. So, while waiting for this document, continue to practice your favorite activity in a safe way and take the opportunity to discover your region.
Right now we have to live with the old law and the new one that overlaps.
“So as long as the final version of the law with all the regulations included in each of the affected articles will not be available, users must not change their practice habits,” concluded Mr. Gagnon.
Each week, in my role as a columnist, I pass on information about the environment that I take the trouble to verify. I always communicate with the FQCQ to find out if there is anything new, important things that could help quad riders. The column of last Tuesday did not escape this method except that this time, the information that was provided to me was simply not complete. There was nothing intentional about it. Good hikes.