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The RCMP was on patrol in Antigonish County last weekend and made two charges related to snowmobilers driving without insurance or registration, and one of a snowmobiler possessing marijuana. The two snowmobilers who were without insurance and registration had their vehicles towed.
Constable Ian Fahie with RCMP Eastern Traffic Services said it was a positive weekend that helped the RCMP engage with the community.
“We’re out on our snowmobiles to support the local clubs and demonstrate support for law abiding citizens,” said Fahie. “We’re just going after people that aren’t following the rules, who are a problem for the snowmobile clubs as well as the RCMP.
Patrick Burke, president of the Nova Scotia Snowmobiling Association, said he’s happy to see the RCMP is out enforcing snowmobile safety.
“From our perspective as an organization it’s very positive,” said Burke. “They’re out doing their jobs. It cuts down on unsafe drivers and it makes sure people keep their papers with them.”
David Sinclair, of the Sno-Dogs snowmobilers club in Antigonish County agrees and says the club itself has members monitoring the trails along with police.
“We have trail wardens ourselves,” says Sinclair. “They’re out there too to educate people on the rules and regulations of snowmobiling.”
The RCMP was focused on Antigonish last week because of the amount of snow the county had as well as there being a scheduled snowmobiling event. Two officers on snowmobiles, two in police vehicles and three provincial conservation officers from the department of environment took part in the patrols. Fahie said they set up checkpoints on popular trails to make sure snowmobilers had registration, insurance, trail passes, helmets and to check for impaired driving.
The RCMP plans to do similar patrols in other counties around Nova Scotia in the coming weeks. There are snowmobiling events in Pictou and Inverness next month where they plan to orchestrate patrols.
Constable Fahie is optimistic about the co-operation from the snowmobiling community.
“Ninety-nine per cent of people driving skidoos are completely law abiding and we’re there to make sure they’re having a peaceful, enjoyable time,” he said.