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By: Robert Janis

Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs

Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs Galvanize ATVers into Close Knit Community

Continued from page 1....

Working With the Provincial and Local Governments

The FQCQ is the official voice for the ATV community in Quebec as far as the provincial and local governments of Quebec is concerned. The group was given responsibility of the ride training programs, and it has financial aid programs that permit it to reinvest money into trail systems. The funds come from special taxes on ATV license plates.

Its strategy dealing with local governments is to assure that ATV events do not disturb citizens of the province. This is achieved by about 1,200 security officers who patrol the trails to make certain that they are used properly. FQCQ trains a special patrol group that watches trails for the clubs and hand out tickets to offenders. Offenses can include inappropriate equipment on ATVs. “To keep the privilege to ride, we have to respect the rights of citizens. If we don’t, they will complain to their city council which could contribute to the closure of trails,” said Jolin.

The FQCQ is a member of the All-Terrain Quad Council of Canada. The AQCC represents ATV federations in each of the Provinces of Canada. Each federation consults with each other and passes on information and experiences to each other.

According to Jolin, the most urgent issue confronting ATVers in Quebec is the “passenger” issue. “Quebecers made ATV riding a family activity since the beginning,” she said. “A law adopted in 1996 has made it illegal to have a passenger on an ATV that was ‘originally built for one but specially equipped.’ The regulation became a problem when the police started to accuse riders that they were acting illegally when there was a passenger present. The police warned that the offender would be given a ticket if stopped by police the next time. This scared many members, and some didn’t renew their membership. Therefore,  the clubs lost a lot of money. Four studies have been done by university researchers that show that there is no added danger if there was a passenger on these types of ATVs as long as the trail system is controlled and secured by signage and trail maintenance. We finally got our point across and the ‘passenger’ regulation is about to be modified to allow a passenger on ATVs ‘originally built for one, but specially equipped’ when riding clubs’ trails as long as the driver has taken an FQCQ ride training course.” FQCQ was able to achieve the change through lobbying and negotiations to find acceptable compromises with various concerned groups.

The federation has been able to avoid lawsuits because of its trail patrol and training programs.

FQCQ has 125 member clubs which accounts for about 54,000 vehicles. Members of clubs that are affiliated with FQCQ can use the trails of all the member clubs. In addition, members also get a free copy of the group’s quarterly magazine, Sentier Quad, and a provincial trails map once a year.

More information on the FQCQ can be found at its website: http://www.fqcq.qc.ca.

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