Recent incidents prompt ATV safety reminder

Two recent ATV incidents in the Cariboo are a stark reminder of the importance of safety.

Last week a woman was seriously injured in the Tyee Lake area. Two weeks ago another woman was injured in the Chimney/Felker Lake area.

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue attended the Chimney Lake incident.

“I would like to remind people to pay attention,” chief of operations Rick White said. “Use extreme caution and wear a helmet, which is mandatory.”

The RCMP are also reminding the public of the laws and regulations governing ATVs and dirt bikes.

While many of the rules are not yet mandatory, the phasing in process has begun and some of the highlights include mandatory vehicle registration and identification, annual vehicle licensing for those who wish to cross public roads, insurance for those wishing to cross public roads and muffler standards and spark arrestors to avoid forest fires, Insp. Warren Brown said.

“It is illegal to operate your ATV or dirt bike on any road or highway that is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, this includes crossing a highway. If you are caught driving on these roads you could face a fine of $578 and have your ATV or dirt bikes towed, at your expense.”

Owners can operate ATVs or dirt bikes on a BC Forest Service Road, but must carry a minimum of $200,000 third party liability insurance and must have a valid driver’s license.

Drivers must also carry proof of this insurance and produce it upon demand of a peace officer.

Non compliance could result in a $578 fine.

In B.C. people are very lucky to be blessed with a beautiful back country, Brown said, adding Crown land offers millions of acres of fun and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

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