Nunavut community outraged over nightly ATV disturbances
“I’d say spike up the main road with nails”
You might say it’s the story of every northern community.
During the long, warm summer evenings, when most adults are trying to sleep, drivers, mainly youth, careen around town on all-terrain vehicles, disturbing the peace and potentially endangering their own lives and others.
In Rankin Inlet, a community of roughly 3,000, the noise of ATVs has become a nightly irritation that spilled over into the Rankin Inlet news Facebook page last week.
A man recounted how late one evening he saw a half a dozen young drivers flying around, playing tag on ATVs between some trailer units and then jumping around in the gravel pit.
Another time, he saw kids doing wheelies on ATVs and racing through stop signs.
“I was woken up at 4 this morning and believe me they are going to get hurt,” commented Mary Tatty. “Boy, the[y] zoom very very fast without stopping at stop signs.”
“It’s not only young drivers, I’ve seen drunk ppl driving after hours as well same thing on our street,” said Pauline Krause.
Posters complained of the kids’ young age, their lack of helmets, their rudeness to elders and the need for more and stricter bylaw officers and police surveillance at night.
Some recalled the bylaw officers of the past — “Billy Bylaw” who would chase you down and lecture you and then even go to your home and talk to your parents.
Many called for more bylaw officers as well as night patrols by the RCMP. Among the other measures suggested to curb the problem: taking ATV keys away from kids.
“I’d say spike up the main road with nails and change location each time and at a certain time… their loss if their tire is damaged,” suggested one poster.
RCMP spokesperson David Lawson said that “every year we usually get a lot of complaints on ATV in the Kivalliq region as they have a lot of ATV’s in those areas.”
Members of the Rankin Inlet RCMP detachment though have been conducting patrols at night when they can, he said.
On July 28, they arrested a 17-year-old boy, charging him with impaired driving, flight from police, breaches of his undertaking, and dangerous driving.
In the past, the RCMP have advised ATV drivers to drive slowly, carry only one passenger and wear helmets to avoid harming themselves or others.
Nunavut’s All-Terrain Vehicle Act says only two people are allowed on an ATV. The driver and passenger are also supposed to wear helmets.
And, all ATV drivers older than 14 are supposed to pass a written safety test with 25 questions before they take to the roads — but some in Rankin Inlet suggest the young drivers who wake them up every night aren’t licensed.