THUNDER BAY - With plenty of snow falling on the region this year, more and more snowmobilers are taking to the trials in and around the city, and so is Thunder Bay Police.
This past weekend, officers conducted patrols in the area of Highway 61 and Loch Lomond Road looking for unsafe driving, impaired driving, and ensuring riders have proper documentation. In a single day, police stopped more than 20 riders.
“We didn’t issue any tickets, but we did find a couple of situations where documentation was outdated, or improper, or missing,” said Sgt. Gordon Snyder. “So we issued a few verbal cautions. We want to remind people to make sure they have the proper documentation with them.”
All riders are required to carry all necessary documentation including proof of insurance when not riding on their own property. Snyder said there will be even more patrols coming up this long weekend and throughout the rest of the winter, so riders could face tickets and fines.
“We don’t expect to be as lenient in the coming weeks during this enforcement because people should have their documentation with them,” he said.
According to Snyder, there have not been any major incident involving snowmobilers this year, though with there being more snow and more riders out, police have received more complaints from the public.
The complaints can range from trespassing to aggressive or impaired driving. But overall, Snyder said the snowmobile community in the city and around Oliver Paipoonge is very respectful and often happy to see officers out on patrol.
“From our observations when we’ve been out there, it’s been great,” Snyder said. “People are happy to see us and the vast majority of people riding snowmobiles are doing so properly and not riding aggressively or drinking and driving and the average snowmobiler out there doesn’t want those selective few doing dangerous activities to be out on the trails.”