Off-road vehicle safety

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Whether on a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), following the rules and regulations of driving an off-road vehicle (ORV) will ensure a safe ride.

Driving areas

Roadways and shoulders

Operating an ORV on a roadway is strictly prohibited. Crossing a roadway is permitted within five metres of an intersection if you hold a valid driver's licence. Only one ORV is allowed to cross a roadway, where permissible, at a time. The ORV must come to a complete stop and yield right-of-way to pedestrians and approaching traffic. If intersections are more than three kilometres apart, you may cross at any other point along the highway where you have a clear view of oncoming traffic.

Only ORVs with more than two wheels and being used for agricultural purposes are allowed to operate on the shoulder of a roadway. They must display slow-moving vehicle signs on the rear and must not be driven more than 40 km/h. To operate these vehicles on the shoulder, you must hold a valid driver's licence and travel to the right of the roadway in the same direction as vehicle traffic. Operating an ORV on or across the median of a divided highway is prohibited.


Operating an ORV in a ditch is allowed as long as you travel to the right of the roadway and shoulder in the same direction as adjacent vehicle traffic. However, four-wheel drive motor vehicles which can also be registered under The Highway Traffic Act and The Drivers and Vehicles Act are not permitted to operate in ditches.

Parking lots

An ORV can only be operated in a parking lot if it is used to access an ORV use area or to access the vehicle used to transport the ORV to the ORV use area.


An ORV cannot tow a trailer, sleigh, cutter, toboggan or other apparatus across a roadway if the towed vehicle is carrying a person. The exception to the law is if the person on the towed vehicle is non-ambulatory or the towed vehicle is disabled and needs a person to steer it.

Private land

You cannot operate an ORV:

  • On privately owned land without permission of the owner/occupier.
  • Within 30 metres of a dwelling between midnight and 7 a.m. unless the dwelling is on the operator's own property, or the operator is an invited guest, or the dwelling is under the operator's control.
  • Within 30 metres of a playground or area set aside for recreational use, unless the area is fenced or the ORV is being used for maintenance or operation of the area.

Operating rules

  • Children under the age of 14 are not permitted to operate ORVs unless supervised, accompanied by, and at all times, within clear view of a parent or a person who is at least 18 years old and authorized by the parent.
  • Never drive an ORV while impaired by drugs or alcohol. The same impaired driving laws that apply to motor vehicles also apply to ORVs.
  • All ORV operators and riders must wear properly fastened safety helmets unless the vehicle is equipped with rollover protection and the occupants are wearing securely fastened seat belts.
  • Ensure the vehicle’s equipment is in good working order.

ATV safety

An ATV handles differently from motorcycles and cars. Learn the proper way of handling an ATV before using one. Learn more at Safety Services Manitoba and by watching this 60 Second Driver video.

Snowmobile safety

Safety Services Manitoba's Snowmobile Operator's Training Program emphasizes correct operating procedures and knowledge of snowmobile laws. You can learn more about snowmobile safety in this 60 Second Driver and by reading the rules below.

  • Be prepared by knowing the local trail and weather conditions and drive safely according to these conditions. For Manitoba trail conditions, visit Snoman.
  • Always be alert for potential danger as engine noise may impair your hearing.
  • Reduce your accident risk by using groomed snowmobile trails. Purchase a Snopass for riding on Snoman's groomed trails. Regular annual Snopasses and non-resident Snopasses can be purchased year-round anywhere Autopac is sold. Three-day and seven-day Snopasses are available online from the Manitoba elicensing website.

See additional information on snowmobile safety: