Feature Friday – PEI Conservation Officers

Today we’re featuring our PEI Conservation Officers.

A Conservation Officer’s primary mandate is the protection of our island’s natural resources and public safety. Conservation officers patrol Island highways, seashores, and wild places in an effort to preserve and protect the province’s wildlife and natural environment. (Learn More)

The PEI ATV Federation trails are governed by the Trespass to Property Act, this is the act used by Conservation for people caught riding without a trail permit pass. (Learn More)

Do you know who can enforce the Off-Highway Vehicle Act? Well here’s the list.

☑️ Conservation Police Officers
☑️ Municipal Police
☑️ Highway Safety
☑️ Federal Fisheries Officers or any officer appointed by the Minister to enforce the Off-Highway Vehicle Act
☑️ Only Peace Officers have the authority to seize an OHV

We encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the Off-Highway Vehicle Act Regulations. (Learn More)

As the sport of ATVing grows in popularity on PEI so will the presence of our island Conservation Officers. So what should you expect when you’re stopped by enforcement? You’ll be asked for your driver’s license, proof of an OHV operators course and vehicle registration.

The officer will also address any infractions related to the stop, including but not limited to:

☑️ Operating an OHV on a highway
☑️ No plate attached to the OHV
☑️ Helmets
☑️ Failing to stop for a Peace Officer
☑️ Under age to operate OHV
☑️ Trespassing

Officers can either give a warning or issue a Summary Offence Ticket(s). Depending on the offence, Officers have the authority to seize the OHV or allow the operator to continue on their way.

No matter the infraction or additional reasons for a stop we must remember to treat these officers with respect. We must remember to have our ATV properly registered and plated. We must remember to be wearing the appropriate safety gear. We must remember to enrol and complete an ATV safety training course if we do not hold a valid driver’s license. We must remember to remain on the legal trail. We must remember the legal age to operate an OHV.

We asked what are the most common violations our PEI Conservation Officers see and here they are. Operation of an OHV on the Confederation trail, Operation of an OHV on the highway, No vehicle registration. There are areas of higher non compliance. Surveillance in these areas has resulted in successful prosecution of cases.

When Conservation Officers receive a complaint about ATV activity how are they handled? Each complaint is followed up on. Although a lack of evidence does often lead to an inability to proceed with legal action. A recurring issue tends to be illegal riding in areas that traditionally OHV’s were allowed to operate by the landowner. This is why we say “know before you go”. Agricultural trespassing is also a great concern for farming communities. Also a concern for Justice and Public Safety.

So what can ATV riders do? It’s always been an easy ask, follow the laws and stay on club trails. The Department of Justice and Public Safety supports safe ATV riding and a legal trail system on PEI.

We extend our gratitude to the Conservation Officers who everyday look out for public safety across our island.

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