Bay Roberts con­cerned about ATVs, high speeds

The Compass - - NEWS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

The Town of Bay Roberts has a prob­lem with high speeds.

Wit­ness­ing mo­tor ve­hi­cles or all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles (ATVs) trav­el­ling at high speeds up and down the town’s roads has be­come com­mon­place in re­cent times. Res­i­dents have sent letters and made phone calls to coun­cil, who have in turn re­quested ad­di­tional sup­port from the Trin­ity Conception RCMP.

It is not a new con­cern in the com­mu­nity, nor is it in the wider Trin­ity-Conception-Pla­cen­tia re­gion. At times, it ap­pears there are al­ways cars en­dan­ger­ing them­selves and oth­ers by driv­ing at high speeds.

“Mo­tor ve­hi­cle speeds have reached well above the posted speed lim­its, with some driv­ers go­ing past the play­ground area at over 70 kilo­me­tres per hour,” said But­lerville res­i­dent Laura Par­sons.

Par­sons and her fam­ily live on the main road in But­lerville and rou­tinely wit­ness driv­ers ca­reen­ing down her street.

“I fear for the safety of all pedes­tri­ans,” she said. “Nu­mer­ous peo­ple have been brushed by traf­fic while walk­ing on our roads. A few sum­mers back, I had my son’s stroller hit by a car go­ing through our area.”

Par­sons has taken to so­cial media to voice her con­cerns and get the town’s at­ten­tion. One of her posts on Face­book gen­er­ated plenty of dis­cus­sion, with just un­der two dozen other peo­ple voic­ing sim­i­lar con­cerns.

“We live in a very ac­tive com­mu­nity,” said Par­sons. “Our recre­ation ar­eas are of­ten used by lo­cal and vis­it­ing base­ball teams. Many res­i­dents who en­joy walk­ing, jog­ging, cy­cling, as well as other forms of out­side ac­tiv­i­ties are be­ing put at risk by oth­ers’ reck­less­ness.

“We’ve seen it all where we live. Dirt bike en­thu­si­asts cat walk­ing down the road, ATV and mo­tor ve­hi­cle drag rac­ing, su­per speed­ers and oth­ers who pass slower ve­hi­cles on this nar­row road.”

Those con­cerns are not new for Bay Roberts. For past cou­ple of years, the town has shown a re­newed in­ter­est in ad­dress­ing the is­sue of speed­ing in the com­mu­nity. Coun­try Road is one area of town that has gar­nered at­ten­tion.

The town in­stalled re­mov­able speed bumps, a three-way stop at the in­ter­sec­tion of Saw­dust Road and cut rum­ble strips into the pave­ment at var­i­ous places along the road. That seems to have curbed some of the speed­ing, although it still ex­ists.

“It is some­thing that is var­i­ous se­ri­ous,” Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood told The Com­pass. “We want to en­sure the sys­tem is un­der con­trol be­fore there is a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent.”

Ahead of this sea­son, Bay Roberts pur­chased ad­di­tional speed bumps with plans of in­stalling them in other trou­ble­some ar­eas in the com­mu­nity.

“I think side­walks for pedes­trian use would be a great in­vest­ment,” said Par­sons. “With the newly paved roads, I fear some­one will test out the new stretches.”

On the roads

Like most towns in the Trin­ity-Conception-Pla­cen­tia re­gion, the com­mu­nity is see­ing an uptick in the num­ber of all­ter­rain ve­hi­cles on its main roads.

Ev­ery day it seems there are new ma­chines driv­ing down and across var­i­ous roads through­out the re­gion.

“We do re­ceive a num­ber of com­plaints,” said Const. David Bour­den. “There is a fair amount of illegal use.”

Bour­den said it is com­mon to see ATV riders with­out hel­mets and vis­i­ble li­cense plates in ar­eas like Bay Roberts and Car­bon­ear.

“In cer­tain com­mu­ni­ties, it is more so­cial ac­cepted,” he said. “They tend to be more ru­ral ar­eas.”

Wood said the prob­lem his town has are driv­ers rac­ing up the cen­tre of the road.

“We’d like to crack down on them on public roads,” he said. “If we can’t elim­i­nate it, we’d like to con­trol it.

“It is some­thing we’re very con­cerned about. We’re be­ing proac­tive. The big thing is safety.”

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

All-ter­rain ve­hi­cles are caus­ing prob­lems for the Town of Bay Roberts as res­i­dents voice their con­cerns over riders trav­el­ling at high speeds.

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