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As of June 10th, training for two-up ATV riding is mandatory



ATVs have been enjoying an impressive growth in popularity over the past 15 years. Whether for work or recreation, summer or winter, some 350,000 enthusiasts are now ripping the 19,000-km trail network, an increase of 230 percent from 1995.

Actions must be taken to ensure that this success doesn’t get tarnished by tragic accidents resulting in severe injuries or possibly deaths. Sadly, the sport claimed 28 lives in 2008 and nearly as many last year.

Back in December of 1996, following discussions with the various parties involved, the Quebec government instituted the Act Respecting Off-Highway Vehicles. Changes were made in 2006 to tighten the rules and improve relations between riders and home owners with nearby trails. Further amendments came in 2009 to allow two-up riding on single-seat ATVs that have been modified to incorporate a passenger seat.

Photo: Philippe Champoux/

Installation of the latter must meet the standards and recommendations of the seat manufacturer. Moreover, this type of two-up riding is only legal on regulated trails (managed by authorized ATV clubs), public roads where permitted by the law as well as any road on government land that directly leads to a regulated trail.

However, riders aren’t allowed to carry a passenger when said trail features a 17-percent or steeper grade (as identified by a sign on the side of the trail). Plus, they must be at least 18 years old and, as of June 10th, 2010, earn a certificate that proves their knowledge and abilities. Information about available training courses can be found at your local dealer.

Obviously, ATV models that were specifically designed for two-up riding are ideal when you want to carry a passenger. They don’t require any special training or extra license. Same thing for single-seat ATVs used exclusively for solo riding.