Did you know that park roads are as official as those in your neighborhood?
It’s true. Our park rangers enforce the Highway Traffic Law. If you speed, forget to wear your seat belt, or commit other violations, your actions could result in a fine, a license suspension, or worse: a tragedy.
Here are four key rules of the road to remember when visiting parks:
1. Seat belts are still essential
No matter how short your car ride is within a park, buckle up. Is the law.
The seat belt is the best defense against distracted, aggressive or drunk drivers.
It may seem impossible for you to have an accident inside a park… but it happened.
Seat belts have saved lives in our parks.
2. Truck beds are not safe seats.
Speaking of seat belts, we’ll say it again: each person in your vehicle should be secured in a proper seat with a buckle.
Truck beds, bumpers, and other people’s laps are not suitable for transportation. This behavior is not permitted and puts passengers (often children) in serious danger.
3. Park signage is not optional
Speed limit signs, one-way signs, stop signs – none of these are suggestions.
It’s common sense and it’s the law. Obey all posted signs.
4. Slow down and drive carefully
Our roads are multi-use. You may find people cycling, walking and jogging.
Children may be playing in campgrounds or heading off trails while you drive. They are visiting a new environment, with many interesting distractions.
Tragedies can occur when drivers speed or don’t keep their eyes on the road.
Curves, curves and possible narrow roads make these road users less visible. That’s why our speed limits are lower inside the parks.
And it’s not just humans who are at risk.
Speeding in parks increases road mortality for our wildlife and can have devastating consequences for at-risk species.
Do not pass other drivers or perform risky maneuvers. It’s not worth saving a few seconds of driving time and risking the lives of other visitors or wildlife.
Bonus: Practice the “park once” principle
Cars and trucks contribute to air pollution. They put pressure on park infrastructure, can pose a safety risk to other park uses, and impose significant impacts on animal populations through road mortality.
Consider only “parking once.” After arriving at your campsite, park your vehicle and leave it off during your stay.
Use other means of transportation to get around. You can walk, jog or ride a bike through the park. Extra “green” points for this one!
Ready to hit the road?
Ontario Wildlife, our staff and your fellow visitors thank you for being a responsible driver in the parks.