ATV use a concern for police
Latest enforcement blitz sees officers issue numerous tickets for a variety of offences
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
– 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.”