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.
Public Affairs Officer
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations