ATV use a con­cern for po­lice

Lat­est en­force­ment blitz sees of­fi­cers is­sue nu­mer­ous tick­ets for a va­ri­ety of of­fences

The Compass - - SOCIALS - BY BUR­TON K. JANES bur­tonj@nfld.net

Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP re­cently is­sued 24 pro­vin­cial sum­mary of­fence tick­ets as a re­sult of sev­eral ATV pa­trols in the area.

This sec­ond pa­trol of the year was con­ducted on Sept. 25 and 26.

Tick­ets were is­sued for a to­tal of nine of­fences, rang­ing from op­er­at­ing an ATV on a high­way to op­er­at­ing while sus­pended.

In be­tween were a va­ri­ety of of­fences, in­clud­ing op­er­at­ing an un­reg­is­tered ATV, op­er­at­ing while not wear­ing a hel­met, op­er­at­ing un­der the age of 16, op­er­at­ing un­der the age of 19 with­out hav­ing in­surance, op­er­at­ing on a high­way with­out hav­ing a driver’s li­cence, and fail­ing to obey a peace of­fi­cer.

In ad­di­tion to the tick­ets is­sued, one ATV was seized in the pa­trol.

“ The il­le­gal use of ATV’s is a com­mu­nity con­cern,” said S/Sgt. Rick Robin­son. “It’s been brought up to us at dif­fer­ent meet­ings we’ve had with com­mu­nity lead­ers.”

By way of re­sponse, en­force­ment of­fi­cers are ac­tive in con­duct­ing “ blitzes,” or con­cen­trated pa­trols.

The RCMP re­ceive from peo­ple in the en­tire district “a fair num­ber” of com­plaints about un­der­age op­er­a­tion of ATVs.

“The il­le­gal use of ATV’s is a

com­mu­nity con­cern.”

– S/Sgt. Rick Robin­son

Robin­son was quick to point out that of­fi­cers do not pur­sue ATV op­er­a­tors.

“ To chase them in a po­lice car is not very prac­ti­cal, and it’s risky for both our of­fi­cers as well as ATV op­er­a­tors,” he ex­plained.

In­stead, of­fi­cers fol­low op­er­a­tors to their des­ti­na­tion and deal with them there.

The num­ber of tick­ets re­cently is­sued is, Robin­son said, “a bumper crop,” up from the usual six to 10. “Ob­vi­ously our of­fi­cers have had some good suc­cess.”

The wide­spread mis­use of ATVs points to a se­ri­ous prob­lem, Robin­son in­di­cated.

“Peo­ple are just not lis­ten­ing. Some par­ents con­tinue to al­low their un­der­age chil­dren to use ATVs. But it’s not a safe prac­tice,” he warned. “God for­bid that you, as a par­ent, should have to bury your young­ster af­ter an ATV ac­ci­dent.”

Robin­son won­dered “if there is an an­swer” to the prob­lem of un­der­age op­er­a­tion of ATVs.

Thirty-two years ago, when he joined the po­lice force, Robin­son was pick­ing up im­paired drives. “But our guys are still do­ing it, even with the laws stiff­ened with re­gard to sus­pen­sions, li­censes and longer pe­ri­ods of in­car­cer­a­tion for sec­ond of­fend­ers. This is why we end up do­ing ATV pa­trols like this.”

The of­fi­cer is­sued a warn­ing to ATV op­er­a­tors: “ We’re still out there watch­ing. You won’t know when, but we’ll con­duct a pa­trol and, if you’re found op­er­at­ing il­le­gally, we’ll take the ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.”

The op­er­a­tion of ATVs is, he stressed, “a recre­ational ac­tiv­ity. Don’t spoil your recre­ation by en­gag­ing in il­le­gal op­er­a­tion. Make sure you op­er­ate legally and safely.”

Mean­while, par­ents and guardians have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to monitor their chil­dren. “ Par­ents can be held re­spon­si­ble for al­low­ing their chil­dren to op­er­ate,” Robin­son added.

His biggest fear is that “ young peo­ple will end up get­ting hurt or killed.”

Robin­son as­sured the pub­lic that more ATV pa­trols will be con­ducted in the fu­ture, “ when we have a full shift or can break a cou­ple of bod­ies free.”

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