More backcountry roads to be kept open

Amendments remove backroads liability from province

  • Jun. 29, 2012 5:00 a.m.

 

Amendments to the Occupiers Liability Act to help prevent  resource road closures and reduce the possibility of injury-related  lawsuits are now in effect, as the general public heads into the  backcountry to enjoy B.C.’s wilderness this summer.

B.C. has an estimated 450,000 kilometres of resource roads that provide  commercial and recreational links to vast expanses of the province’s  backcountry. Currently roads that do not access year-round communities are  sometimes closed to the public after an industrial user no longer needs  the road.

The amendments will help keep more backcountry roads open by establishing  that people using resource roads of their own accord do so substantially  at their own risk.

In addition to lowering the duty of care owed by the Crown and road  maintainers, the revised legislation shifts the onus for personal injury  insurance coverage to third-party users and brings the government’s  resource road policy into line with policies covering rural agricultural  land and marked recreational trails.

 

 

 

Brennan Clarke,

Public Affairs Officer

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations