According to Princeton ATV Club president Ed Vermette, it’s only a few riders who act irresponsibly, but “they give us a bad name. File photo

Reckless ATV riders cause problems for communities and police in Princeton area

Two women injured after ATV hits tree beside KVR

RCMP and leaders in the ATV community are expressing concern after reports of reckless ATV drivers causing problems in the region.

Two women were injured Sunday, July 26, after crashing an ATV into a tree off the KVR trail, near Link Lake, according to Princeton RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes.

The incident occurred at about 8:40 p.m.

The ATV driver and passenger are both from Surrey and were allegedly impaired.

They were also not wearing helmets.

One woman suffered an injury to her leg, and the other struck her head and was taken to hospital.

Hughes said police are aware that alcohol and ATVs are sometimes mixed by irresponsible riders.

“It’s just so incredibly disappointing to know and see, and hear about the number of people who think they can drink and get on an ATV and drive,” he said.

RCMP lay charges whenever possible, he added.

Earlier this month a 28-year-old Princeton man, riding an ATV on the KVR, was charged with multiple motor vehicle act infractions, including impaired driving.

The rider was first reported to police by a visitor, who said his children were almost hit by a machine in the tunnel east of town, and that it was travelling between 60 and 70 kilometres an hour.

Princeton ATV rider slapped with numerous charges after complaint of near miss on the KVR

“People have to start taking responsibility,” said Ed Vermette, president of the Princeton ATV Club, one of the largest riding groups in the province.

“We are going to lose all of our privileges if people don’t follow the rules.”

Vermette said the vast majority of ATV users are responsible and respectful of other trail users.

“It just takes that one or two…it gives us a bad name,” he said.

“It’s just disappointing. You work so hard to gain the steps to secure riding for everyone, and this is just disappointing. “

Vermette said ATV clubs are working hard to educate all users about the law, and safety.

In June the KVR opened for motorized vehicles, and recently RCMP began issuing permits for riders in Tulameen to travel along the shoulders of most streets in that community.

According to Hughes, the rules surrounding the latter initiative are being ignored by many.

Related: Tulameen to open up for ATVs this summer

The permits, he stressed, are to allow riders access to the trails, and not to open up streets for people to ride on the pavement, or to use their machines for errands in town.

During a recent patrol, Hughes stopped eight riders.

“Every single one of the eight was going to the store for ice cream,” he said, adding several of those riders were ticketed for offenses including not wearing helmets, not having insurance and not having their machines registered.

Last week the B.C. Conservation Office received a complaint from a logging truck company, that ATV riders are creating hazards on Forest Service Roads.

While a permit is not required to use those roads, riders must wear helmets and have their machines registered, noted Hughes.

With the August long weekend approaching — a holiday that ordinarily sees Tulameen’s population mushroom from 200 to 3,000 — extra officers have been assigned to the Princeton detachment to assist with enforcement in the Tulameen area.

Two officers will be riding ATVs, said Hughes.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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