Illegal ATV use complaints down in Holyrood, but speeding concerns hold steady

By Mark Squibb/April 7, 2022

There has been a decrease in calls to the Holyrood RCMP in regard to illegal ATV and off-road vehicle use, but concerns about speeding are holding at a steady pace.

The Town met with the RCMP virtually on February 10 to discuss those and other issues.

“We discussed the ATV use within our community, and I’m pleased to report that complaints of illegal use has decreased by 20 percent from last year,” said Mayor Gary Goobie. “And I will also add that complaints to the town have decreased exponentially as well. That’s certainly encouraging news, and we commend users for complying with the ATV rules and regulations.”

He said so long as folks operate ATVs and other offroad vehicles in a safe, responsible manner, the Town has no issues with the vehicles.

“The RCMP has also said that if you have to travel along the roadway, within a kilometer, to get back to your home, to access the railbed, or, for example, to get gas at the gas station, you may do so, as long as you stay to the side of the road, reduce your speed, the vehicle is registered, you’re not under the influence, and you’re all wearing the protective gear,” said Goobie. “That is now permissible under the new offroad regulations. That is something ATV users need to know, and there’s no need to feel like you have to dash from Point A to Point B at high speeds in fear of being apprehended.”

For example, said Goobie, if you needed to use Woodford Station Road to get from the railbed to the Irving at the bottom of the road, you may do so, so long as you take it slow and stay to the side of the road.

Goobie said council applauds those who practice ATV safety.

He then added the most recent report on regular motorized traffic was not so positive.

“Now, on the topic of regular road traffic, unfortunately, the same scenario does not apply,” said Goobie. “The RCMP are still dealing with complaints of excessive speeding throughout the town, such as on Duff’s Straight, Salmonier Line, Liam Hickey Drive, and so on. I’ll remind motorists that when entering the town, they are expected to respect the speed limits in our municipal jurisdiction. For those who respect the rules of the road, we applaud you. For those who don’t, just ask yourself the question, ‘Why am I racing down Duff’s Straight doing 80 or 90 kilometres an hour, passing other vehicles, just to get to my destination only a few minutes away? Why am I racing down Liam Hickey Drive doing 100, just to get to Tim Horton’s, only two to three minutes away?’ There’s no nice or diplomatic way of saying this, so I’ll be direct and to the point — for heaven’s sake, please slow down. What is your rush? Why jeopardize your own safety, or the safety of others, your family and friends? I don’t want to get too dramatic, but I worked in emergency services for 28 years, and believe me, I’ve seen my share of tragedy, carnage, and heartaches from vehicle accidents. It simply has to stop.”

Goobie said the Town will continue to have periodic meetings with the RCMP, and they hope in the future to include residents in some of the sessions as well.

Councilor Curtis Buckle said that if folks see something, they should report it, as it helps the RCMP determine potential trouble spots.

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