After a single-ATV crash that left five people injured, the Haliburton Highlands OPP is urging people to be safe while on the trails.

The crash happened Saturday on Gregory Lane in Dysart et al Township. The driver and four passengers were not wearing helmets or seatbelts in their utility terrain vehicle (UTV). Two passengers had to be taken to hospital with another later taken to a Toronto-area trauma centre. 

Constable Michelle Scanlan says it is the third “serious collision” in the OPP’s central region this year involving riders not wearing helmets while off-roading.

She adds that while the OPP’s Central Region Traffic Incident Management Enforcement officers were at the scene, six other off-roaders passed by without helmets and were charged for failing to wear a helmet.

If you’re on the trails, Scanlan says all riders have to be wearing an approved helmet that’s securely fastened by a chin strap. All riders in UTVs must be buckled in as well. 

All off-road vehicles have to be registered with a rear license plate and have proper insurance. If you’re travelling on the road, you have to be going the same way as traffic while on the shoulder – or as far right as possible – with lights on. If the posted speed limit is 50 kilometres an hour for cars, an ORV can’t go faster than 20 km/h. If the speed limit is above 50 km/h for cars, the fastest an ORV can go is 50 km/h.

Scanlan says impaired driving laws apply to off-road vehicles as well.