No fines handed out during snowmobile patrol

Derek Montague
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More patrols to come this year; Sampson

10 RCMP officers did a snowmobile patrol around Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Feb.6. No fines were handed out during the patrol

A recent RCMP snowmobile patrol in Happy Valley-Goose Bay did not result in any fines or citations, according to community constable Cliff Sampson.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, 10 officers went around he Happy Valley-Goose Bay area on snowmobiles, looking for anyone violating the rules. But, on that day, everyone seemed to be snowmobiling safely and sensibly.

“(It) went well actually. There wasn’t a lot of machines out there…but the ones we did see we’re quite fine,” said Sampson.

“We did speak to some people and…our target yesterday was to get out in the community, show the visibility, show the colours. We want to be visible in the community, and I think we done that...”

According to Sampson, the biggest snowmobile concerns involve machines driving recklessly on the roads and in residential areas. But, so far this winter, the number of complaints is down compared to previous years.

“Most of the complaints we’re receiving…would be snowmobiles operating on the road, at a high speed on the road,” Said Sampson.

“This year, so far, we’ve had very little complaints. We’ve had a couple of complaints but there hasn’t been anything serious.”

According to Sampson, people are allowed to drive their snowmobiles on the shoulder of the road under certain circumstances, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

But, if people use their snowmobile on a road, the machine must be registered, they must have insurance, and they must have a driver's license. Even if you're just crossing a road, these conditions must be met.

The maximum legal speed limit is 15 km/h, while driving on the shoulder of the road, and a snowmobiler must turn off on the nearest available snowmobile trail.

 

The Feb.6 patrol may have been the first patrol done by the RCMP this winter, but it won’t be the last. Sampson says that they are hoping to team up with the local snowmobile club and MADD for future outings.

 “We covered a lot of areas in town...This is just a warning to people; be aware, we’re going to be there again. When you come into the trails… we may be just sitting there,” says Sampson.

But Sampson says he and the other officers are not out to dissuade people from enjoying their snowmobiles. They just want people to be safe and follow the regulations.

“The message we want to get out to people…when you’re using your snowmobile, use it safely. Stay off the roads. If you got to use the shoulder of the roads to get up to the trail…than do it, but do it safely,” says Sampson.

“We want people to enjoy their snowmobiling, it’s a great sport. But if you’re going to be on the roads and driving crazy…then we’re going to be out there…”

Organizations: RCMP, MADD

Geographic location: Happy Valley, Goose Bay

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Recent comments

  • Jeremy Dyson
    February 12, 2014 - 13:50

    I can't help but think that a good partial reason for less complaints this year is due to the extended period of time with very cold temperatures in Goose Bay and the fact that any amount of snow arrived late this year. I myself was fined a few years back by Mr. Sampson along with a friend on his snowmobile as we had just (slowly and responsibly) used the shoulder of Hunt St. to get from one trail to the next. Mr Sampson claimed we were "racing" on the road. With no use in arguing after realizing it was surely going to be his way or no way, we each received our tickets. Just at that moment a screaming Arctic Cat came full throttle down the middle of Hunt St. towards the trail we were parked in with the two R.C.M.P. officers and not only ran the stop sign but pulled off a fancy 360 donut in the middle of Palliser before racing East on Palliser in the middle of the road. Mr. Sampson who also witnessed the rider, as all four of us stood and watched, exclaimed "well we can't chase people like that" No? "But you can bust the riders who see you in a trail, continue into that trail and stop out of pure decensy for they law because they knew no wrong was being done by them" It may not be possible to stop all of those "kids" from driving on the roads, as I'm sure it's nobody over the age of 19 doing it "hence sarcasm" but if riders of any age don't start using some sence and respect for motorists, padestrians and homeowners alike. Happy Valley-Goose Bay could end up with a bylaw more than common in any town outside of Labrador which endorses a law of no recreational vehicles PERIOD! operated within town limits. This includes starting and running an ATV or snowmobile in residential areas even long enough to load into a truck or trailer. For some people winter is their favorite time if year because it means having transportation, those without cars etc. Please be safe and curteous out there riders before it's iligal all together. I would also like to add a comment towards the gentleman who mentioned the children not being able to see over the handlebars. I could not agree more! Years ago you could have an underpowered light snowmobile for introducing youth into the sport. However now days its either a Mini 120cc for an age of 7 or 8 years old and then nothing smaller than a 500cc to bridge them to an adult sized sled. It's too bad. Jeremy

  • Labradorian123
    February 11, 2014 - 09:03

    I find it funny reading this article. All is right in town because of one patrol. I agree with the other commenters. Driving down the back road and skidoos racing up and down the trails on the side of the road and cutting in and out trying to cross the road. I have seen skidoos sitting on the snowbank going to cross and you can see that they are wondering if they can beat you. Children don't have drivers licenses so how can they be responsible on a skidoo. There are parents who say oh my kid is a good kid. All kids are good kids around their parents...away is a different story. Patrols should be random and unannounced. The whole town could do with more monitoring and patrols, traffic included.

  • Mr. Mac
    February 11, 2014 - 00:49

    I agree with John H and his comments. I would also like to add that announcing that there will be an active patrol would clearly diminish any chance of catching people on the trails. The use of social media and other technology would and can be spread within minutes. Watch the snowmobiles flying down the roads in the valley and all over town.

  • Dan I
    February 10, 2014 - 22:28

    What a laugh. Not many out there. Flying up theroad all hours of the day and night. Cutting off vehicles, kids so small driving they can barely be seen over the handle bars,.. Yeah, write it on the paper and all over the Internet, that was a good way to make sure you didn't catch people.

  • john h
    February 10, 2014 - 20:01

    No good looking on the trails Sherlock, their all on the roads..DAH and what's the use of complaining, nothing changes. How about stopping the racers on the roads who laugh at law enforcement with impunity. Nothing will truly be done until someone dies, the town will then say "Well we made laws so it`s not our fault``. Guess what, you have to enforce those laws stupid ! Johnny