As part of the new measures put forward to counter the pandemic, the government has spared quad enthusiasts who will be able to continue their season since the trails are still open.
However, this government openness does not come without obligations for all quad enthusiasts. You will have to follow public health instructions to the letter, with social distancing at all times, no gatherings in shelters, wearing a mask when you stop, all of which can make all the difference. You must understand that the police and the patrollers will be very active during the intensive period of confinement that we are living. There will be no tolerance. If there are too many people in a specific place, they will crack down and close the place. The message was very clear from the authorities.
As for housing, it can always be done in a family bubble. If you are four friends on a hike, when it comes time to stop to sleep, each should have their own room. For meals, you will need to have them come to your room. Finally, Dr. Arruda’s message is quite easy to understand. It is necessary to respect the distancing, the measures of hygiene, the wearing of the mask and completely avoid the gatherings and the contacts. In town or in nature, the principle is the same. So if you act responsibly everything will be fine, otherwise there will be some very unpleasant surprises. It is in this sense that the season is in your hands.
At the time of this writing, Mother Nature was not working too much with the club volunteers so that they could open the network of trails.
“Indeed, some places are open, but for others, there is a significant lack of snow,” explains the general manager of the Fédération québécoise des clubs quad, Mr. Danny Gagnon. There is no question of Ministry of Health restrictions for trails that are not open. Nothing has been planned in this direction. I believe that if people follow the instructions, outdoor activities will remain available. “
It’s all about snow, quite simply. “It’s pretty simple what’s going on. The Hautes-Laurentides are open while the Basses-Laurentides — are closed for lack of snow. In the Chaudière-Appalaches region, some clubs are open, others are not. Same situation in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean.
Currently, we can say that 50% of the trail network is open. For the rest, all that’s missing is snow and cold. “
THE NEW LAW
The new law on off-road vehicles is officially in force. Its implementation brings its share of novelties that can make the difference.
“First of all, now you have to have a driving license to ride a quad on the trail. This is a very important element, to explain the expert. For 16-year-olds, they must follow a course in order to be able to drive on trails. Alcohol consumption should also be monitored just like on the road. Dots of demerit apply if you commit trail infractions, which directly affects your driver’s license. People who had lost their driver’s license due to alcohol in the region and who turned to the side of the quad to go to work, this is no longer possible. “
The new driver’s license measure responds to a request from the various police forces.
“Yes, the police have requested this measure, because if you look at the figures for quad accidents, very often alcohol is involved. For example, in the case of deaths, it is proven that 70% of people had consumed alcohol. It should be remembered that with the new version of the law, the Minister of Transport, Mr. Bonnardel, had the objective of improving user safety. It needs to be done. “
If the clubs already had a guide to sanitary measures, the Federation had to modify it to allow it to meet the new standards.
“We already had a plan that we are revising up to date, if we can put it that way. Among the new measures, gatherings must be avoided. It may well be that, depending on how the measures are applied, survival relays will be closed for a certain period. It should be understood that it is not always possible to respect the distancing in several of these sites. “
Local hikes are also encouraged by the DG of the Federation.
“For a while, ATV riders have to think about more local rides, instead of long trips. It must be remembered that in many regions, restaurants are closed and that for accommodation, it is not easy in many cases. Under these circumstances, it becomes more difficult for the ATV rider to travel. Local practice is therefore becoming the norm to follow for the moment. “
More than 1,000 Federation surveillance agents will be on the trails to enforce the law and respect health standards. With the new law, they have increased powers. Among other things, they can check driver’s licenses.
While waiting for everything to function normally, Mr. Gagnon advises quad riders to consult the information on their club’s website to know exactly the situation concerning their trails.