Princeton RCMP Sergeant Rob Hughes is opening up some streets in Tulameen for ATV traffic. Spotlight file photo

Princeton RCMP Sergeant Rob Hughes is opening up some streets in Tulameen for ATV traffic. Spotlight file photo

RCMP to open Tulameen streets for ATVs

Tulameen, start your engines.

Efforts by the Princeton RCMP will result this spring in residents being allowed to drive off road vehicles in places they weren’t previously, legally, able to roam.

“My intent is to promote safe, responsible and legal ATV activity in Tulameen,” said RCMP Sergeant and detachment commander Rob Hughes.

Hughes recently surveyed the community with representatives from ATV B.C. and the ministry of transportation, determining where stop signs will be placed to ensure off-road vehicle travel will be safe and controlled.

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When those signs are erected this spring, residents will be able to apply for free permits that will mean they can access trails and the beach area on public streets and from their own driveways.

“It’s pretty big,” said Hughes. “It’s providing the opportunity for responsible riders to ride legally.”

Off road vehicle activity in the community came under scrutiny in 2018 after a series of accidents that claimed one life and left several others injured.

Related: Man killed after motorcycle plunges into Otter Lake

Some homeowners and seasonal residents complained, a public meeting was held, and RCMP ramped up patrols and launched an education campaign.

Related: Weekend warriors cause trouble in Tulameen

At that time only one street route was open to off road vehicle riders, and it didn’t allow them access to the trails or town amenities.

Last summer Hughes extended the permitted area for ATVs to allow riders passage to the town’s only gas station.

A survey, conducted with the help of a local business, indicated the majority of residents wanted more freedom on the roads and that resulted in the recent moves by police.

Anyone wishing to drive off road vehicles on the streets of Tulameen will still need a permit from RCMP, which can be obtained free at the detachment.

The riders will have to stick to designated streets, and police will continue to patrol the area enforcing regulations, he said.

Related: Princeton council votes to open parts of KVR to motorized vehicles

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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