Speeding snowmobile causes two-car crash


KUUJJUAQ — A speeding snowmobile caused a two-car accident in Kuujjuaq last Friday afternoon, leaving a young Kuujjuaq man with severe leg injuries, police say.

A snowmobile careening down the main street of Kuujjuaq raced through a four-way stop, crashed into a Suzuki Vitara, then spun across the road into a red delivery truck, which had stopped in the other direction.

The male driver of the vehicle, 19, suffered severe injuries to his leg. Police say the man, who was thrown from his snowmobile in the accident, is lucky to be alive.

The speed limit for vehicles in the community is 40 km/hour, and police say snowmobiles are expected to respect the speed limit and other rules of the road.

But police can’t officially enforce speed limits in Nunavik because Quebec’s highway safety code doesn’t apply to off-highway vehicles, such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles, that are commonly driven in Nunavik communities.

“We’re going to have to find the means to control traffic,” said Brian Jones, the KRPF police chief.

Last year, Makivik Corp. and the Kativik Regional Government asked for Quebec’s law on off-highway vehicles and the provincial highway safety code to be amended, so police can start enforcing rules that are suited to the region.

Quebec’s law now says no off-highway vehicles, such as ATVs and snowmobiles, are permitted on public roads.

Other suggested actions to lower the numbers of accidents involving off-highway vehicles in Nunavik include upping the minimum operator age from 14 to 16, mandatory helmet use as well as training, licensing and registration.

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