Wants snowmobiles and ATVs off the road; Mayor says non-issue
One man is fed up with snowmobiles and ATVs on the road in his community and is calling on his town council to take a stand.
Warrick Chubbs of St. Lewis says he has been in contact with the RCMP on numerous occasions about snowmobiles and ATVs using the roads in his community and believes more measures should be taken to prevent this perceived problem.
Warrick believes that preventing snowmobiles and ATVs from using the roadway in St. Lewis should be a priority of the town council.
He notes that this has been a problem ever since the road was put in approximately 15 years ago.
“Not all the time, but lots of the time, there are snowmobiles and ATVs going the wrong way on the one-way road – cars and trucks going the wrong way on the one-way road,” he explains. “And it’s only a matter of time before someone is going to get killed or seriously hurt. Then someone might open their eyes.”
A month ago, he sent a letter to the council addressing the matter. They let him know that his letter was forwarded along to the RCMP.
This was not satisfactory for Warrick as he believes the council should be taking notice and issuing such complaints themselves.
“The way I see it, they want me to do their dirty work for them so they can come out looking like a rose and I’ll look like the black sheep,” he says. “They want me to be the one to call the police and report it.”
However, according to Mayor Gerald Chubbs, this is simply a non-issue within the community.
“There might be somebody coming along by my house to go to the gas station or something like that,” says Gerald. “But there’s nobody that goes out in the middle of the road and runs across a truck or anything of that nature. Nobody’s at that kind of stuff. The only complaint ever I heard was from Mr. [Warrick] Chubbs.”
Gerald notes that sometimes snowmobiles or ATVs travel along the side of the road and sometimes this is the only way to get from point A to point B. In his experience, he says any person he has seen on an ATV will pull over and let a vehicle pass.
He believes the town council simply has more serious matters to attend to.
“If Mr. Chubbs wants to do something about it, I guess that’s up to him,” he adds. “If you want to call the RCMP and charge them, then do it. I’m only here to help the other councillors run the community, to do the best job we can, and we have a lot more on our plate than a bunch of youngsters going around on snowmobiles.”
Corporal Irven Nochasak of the RCMP acknowledges that he has received numerous complaints from Warrick about ATVs and snowmobiles being on the highway but is not aware of any other complaints being issued.
“We’ve made numerous patrols in regards to his complaints and we have issued tickets and if we can’t catch these people at the time, we’ve explained to him he can provide statements to us, and we can take that statement and go from there,” he adds.
He says, to his knowledge, the RCMP has not actually seen any ATVs or snowmobiles on the road during their patrols in the community.
“Chances are, if there’s an ATV on the street that he’s on, it’s long gone by the time we get there,” he explains. “But we can still deal with the issue in regard to people providing statements to us.”
Warrick suggests the council should put in a request for the RCMP to make more patrols in St. Lewis so they’ll be more likely to see snowmobiles and ATVs on the road.
However, Gerald believes that this is simply unnecessary given his belief that this is not an issue.
“I don’t see anything wrong with the way the RCMP is doing their job,” he says. “They’re always available if we need them for anything and I don’t think we need them any more often than they are here. They police this community as often as they do the others.”
Nonetheless, Warrick remains concerned. He recently contacted an insurance company to learn what would happen in the event of an accident with a snowmobile or ATV and automobile. He learnt it would be up to the automobile owner to pay out of pocket for damages or to pursue compensation from the snowmobile/ATV operator. If the ATV or snowmobile operator refuses, then the matter can be taken to court.