Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV)

An off-highway vehicle (OHV) is any motorized mode of transportation built for cross-country travel on land, water, snow, ice, marsh or swamp land or on other natural terrain. OHVs include quads, dirt bikes, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, snow bikes and any other all-terrain vehicle. OHVs do not include motorboats, farm machinery or construction machinery.

If you use an OHV in Sturgeon County – on roads, in ditches and/or in public recreation areas – you must follow the rules in the Traffic Safety Act and associated regulations and in Sturgeon County’s OHV Bylaw.

Where you can and can’t operate an OHV

You can operate an OHV on your own property and on someone else’s private property if you have permission.

You cannot operate an OHV in the following areas:

  • Within Sturgeon Valley, from Highway 2 east to Highway 28 and from Highway 37 south to the City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert’s north boundaries.
  • In a hamlet, except when leaving and returning to the hamlet using the shortest possible route to your residence.
  • In environmental reserve areas.
  • In the Sandy Lake Wilderness Area.

Learn more about using an OHV on public, or Crown, land. Some Crown land is leased and used for activities like livestock grazing. You must contact the leaseholder of this land for permission to access the land.

OHV rules

The following rules apply to OHV users in Sturgeon County:

  • Operators must be at least 14 years old or supervised by someone who is at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a valid license, registration, and insurance.
  • The OHV must have a licence plate that is clearly displayed.
  • You must wear a helmet unless excluded by the Traffic Safety Act.
  • You can only use an OHV on roadways between 8 a.m. and midnight, unless you are performing agricultural activities.
  • The maximum speed is 30 kilometres per hour when using an OHV on a County roadway.
  • You must travel on the portion of road or ditch farthest to the right when on a County roadway, and must travel single file.
  • Your OHV must have at least one headlight and one taillight, and both must be lit at all times when on a County roadway.
  • Your OHV must have an approved exhaust muffler.
  • If the OHV has a seatbelt, you must wear it.

Impaired driving laws also apply to operators of an OHV.

Respecting private property and the environment

You must have permission from property owners to ride your OHV on their private property. Without permission, you are trespassing.

Using your OHV on someone else’s property means you could risk damaging crops, fences and other property. You could also encounter barriers, like structures or wire fences, that could hurt you and/or your passengers.

You should stay on established trails even in snow. Off-trail tracks in snow push frost deeper into the ground, which can damage vegetation.

Respect wildlife from a distance, and never approach or chase wildlife.

Helmet rules

Generally, all operators and passengers of an OHV must wear a CSA-compliant helmet; however, there are some exceptions.

You do not need to wear a helmet if any of the following apply:

  • You are on your own property.
  • You are on private property with permission of the owner.
  • You are on First Nation Reserve or Métis Settlement lands.
  • You are performing farm and/or ranch work exempt from Alberta’s occupational health and safety laws.
  • You wear a turban as a member of the Sikh faith.
  • You received an exemption.
  • You are operating or riding in an OHV with a manufacturer-installed rollover protective structure and seatbelts, and are wearing those seatbelts.