Nunavut community continues crackdown on ATV mayhem
Rankin Inlet bylaw officials and RCMP hand out tickets, seize ATVs
Rankin Inlet’s bylaw officers are continuing their efforts to make all-terrain vehicle drivers—especially the young ones—slow down and comply with the law.
And lately they’ve begun to receive more support from the RCMP.
Two weekends ago, Rankin Inlet’s bylaw officers were “very busy,” as they worked with RCMP officers to crack down on daredevil ATV drivers, said Mark Wyatt, the hamlet’s fire chief, in a post on the Rankin Inlet Facebook news page.
During that weekend alone, three ATVs were seized and many fines and charges were laid for offences such as reckless driving, not wearing a helmet, underage driving, running away from bylaw and law enforcement officers, driving without registration or insurance, lack of headlights, too many people on an ATV, and impaired driving, Wyatt said.
“This type of enforcement will continue as we put the safety of our community first. For those drivers who continue to ignore the rules of the road and think it’s ‘fun’ to run from bylaw, trust me, it will not be fun when you are caught.”
“The ATVs will remain locked up until the fines are paid,” Wyatt told the community of about 3,000.
Many in Rankin Inlet chimed in on social media to support the crackdown.
“They think it’s fun driving recklessly and cutting people off, blowing off stop signs, and cutting through short cuts, also fleeing from the law enforcers,” said one woman.
“But is it fun when you injure someone? When you injure yourself? What about if you cause someone’s death? Or even your own death? Is it fun thinking about that? Is it fun when you make parents worry about their children playing out? Is it fun when you make people scared to walk from place to place? Is it fun to make Rankin feel unsafe? Is it fun making someone’s job harder? “
Another person wondered why parents let young people go out and drive their ATVs recklessly.
And some suggested the community needs to put up billboards and signs to remind everyone about the law.
Since last year, Rankin Inlet has started to enforce its bylaw that says drivers must keep to a maximum of 50 kilometres per hour in town and stay at 20 km/hr in school or other speed-restricted zones.
As well, ATVs must be properly registered and, as the legal age to drive an ATV in Nunavut is 14, children under 14 are not allowed to drive ATVs in town.
Everyone must also wear a helmet, according to the municipal bylaw.
Bylaw officers also try to ensure that the maximum number of people riding on an ATV is two: a driver and one passenger.
The only exception, the bylaw says, is for a baby in an amauti.
The tickets for not complying with the rules come with fines:
• From $25 to $75 for speeding
• $25 for unlawful operation of an ATV by a person under 14
• $25 for contravening helmet regulations
• $25 for operation of an ATV with more than two persons
• $25 without certificate of registration or insurance
• Up to $500 for dangerous driving
For second offences, the fines will rise up to $200.
Rankin Inlet’s bylaw enforcement measures come ahead of Nunavut’s new Traffic Safety Act, which comes into force on Jan. 31, 2019, and will put the minimum age for ATV drivers even higher, at 15 years.
Wyatt said “continuous enforcement, issuing tickets, seizing ATVs until fines are paid will all help” to ensure better compliance.