A Tulameen resident has ordered 25 signs asking riders to slow down and he plans to place them throughout the community.

A Tulameen resident has ordered 25 signs asking riders to slow down and he plans to place them throughout the community.

Weekend warriors cause trouble in Tulameen

Popular resort town struggles with lawbreakers

An increase in illegal off road vehicle antics, and a fatal motorcycle accident over the long weekend, has some Tulameen residents demanding change in their usually laid back resort community.

At the same time RCMP are planning increased patrols to target off road vehicle violations in the region, and are looking into solutions for local residents.

“Every year since we have been here there has been a fatality on a quad or a fatality on a dirt bike,” said Randy Halyk.

“I guess the biggest problem is on the long weekends here when all of a sudden the town goes from 200 to 2,000 people. We have machines everywhere. It’s like an ATV and side-by-side explosion..I think there’s a feeling when you come to Tulameen it’s lawless and you can do what you want.”

Halyk is a director of the Tulameen Ratepayers Association, which is organizing a meeting June 2 for concerned property owners who want to keep their streets safe and quiet year round.

He said the problems range from quad and bike riders racing through residential areas, to parents allowing young children to drive off road vehicles on the pavement without supervision.

“There’s things like they do wheelies all the way down Otter Avenue..right in the middle of town, to show off I guess. There is one guy, and another guy behind him and another one behind him. The other problem is at night there’s no helmets and no lights and they are driving quads and dirt bikes through town. I guess they are going from party to party, but that’s dangerous.”

A 22-year-old Surrey man, who had just purchased a home with his mother in Tulameen, died May 20 after his motorcycle left the road and plunged 25 feet into Otter Lake.

RCMP are still investigating that crash, as well as an incident the following day near Coalmont when an ATV rider suffered head and leg injuries in an accident.

Related: Man killed after motorcycle plunges into Otter Lake

Related: Head injuries in Coalmont ATV crash

“The worst thing I’ve seen, and this is a couple of years ago, there was a guy doing a wheelie right in front of our place and there was a family with young kids. He wiped out in front of them and missed a little girl by five or six feet. If he had been over a little bit more he could have killed that little girl.”

Gerald Kuva, who retired to Tulameen with his wife two years ago after visiting the area regularly for eight years, said he believes there needs to be more education about off road vehicle safety.

This week Kuva ordered 25 street signs that say: Slow. Respect Our Community. He plans to erect them in strategic locations.

“The weekend warriors come up and they just wreak havoc in the town. They just run amok through the streets and it goes right from dawn until sometimes two or three in the morning.”

Kuva has seen kids as young as 12 driving off road vehicles through the streets.

“They let their kids jump in these high powered machines and run up and down the roads. Seriously? Tulameen is not a babysitting service.”

Both Halyk and Kuva are off road vehicle riders, and both say that by speaking out on the issue they risk drawing the ire of some residents who don’t want to see an increased police presence in town.

“We have talked to people who are supposed to be leaders in our community and they just say ‘we don’t want to change anything, we want to keep it the same.’”

RCMP Corporal Chad Parsons said complaints about recreational vehicles are not uncommon in the spring and summer, and last year police issued several tickets in the Tulameen area.

“We do increased patrols in the area. This year there will be seasonal police patrols on quads looking for ATVs driving on the street, or that aren’t registered or don’t have insurance, people riding without helmets and people driving dangerously. So there will be enhanced service for that.”

He said riders can apply at the detachment for special permits that would allow them to cross specific roads, and allow access to the trail.

“There are permits available to allow limited access to the KVR and the forest service roads for both Tulameen and Coalmont,” he said. “These are permits to access trails, not to go do your grocery shopping or to bring a cooler down to the beach and back.”

Halyk said there are many residents who drive their off road vehicles on the street in a responsible manner, and admitted he takes his vehicle to the gas station before heading off to the bush.

“I still want to be able to drive out of my driveway, get to the KVR and go for a ride on my quad. Am I breaking the law? Yes, if I’m doing that I’m breaking the law.”

He said he wants to broker some kind of compromise to keep the worst offenders in check.

Regional district Area H director Bob Coyne said the RDOS cannot intervene.

“Our position is that we support the laws of the province and the laws of the province are enforced by the RMCP and therefore we can’t be involved in the discussion they would like to have…There is no leeway. If it’s not a licensed motor vehicle and it’s on the road you are subject to a $600 fine, end of discussion.”

Coyne said the suggestion that police crack down on just some riders “sounds like having your cake and eating it too…The people who have contacted me felt that they should be able to get on their bike and ride it from their house down to the KVR or off to the forest service roads, but people who come to town shouldn’t be able to do that.”

However he expressed empathy with some peoples’ frustration.

“It’s a situation that is kind of out of control, a little bit. The province didn’t make any ATV rules for many, many years and now we have got rules and those rules don’t coincide with the lifestyle that a lot of people have enjoyed out in the Tulameen area and a lot of other areas as well.”

The Tulameen Ratepayers Association meeting is Saturday June 2, 11 a.m., at the Tulameen Community Hall.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Options available for medical care

Telephone and online methods allow people to contact doctors

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow is closing its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
Petition to save South Okanagan’s only midwife clinic nears 3,000 signatures

After 12 years, Willow Community Midwives has to close its doors due to a shortage of midwives

Craig Gruden, (Little) Donny Kleinfelder, (Big) Donny Kleinfelder, Dale Kristensen, Dave Schwandt, Alyssa Schwandt, Tristan Schwandt and Angela Kirstein will feature in Backroad Truckers, a Barriere-based History channel series. (CORUS Entertainment photo)
Shuswap auto recycler breaks out of Rust Valley for Backroad Truckers

White Lake’s Dave Schwandt joins Big Donny Kleinfelder on new History Channel series

The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society released a video on Feb. 22, 2021 promoting agriculture and food production in Salmon Arm and the Shuswap. (SAEDS image)
New video promotes Salmon Arm staples of agriculture, food production

Three-minute video from economic development featuring local producers receives appreciative reviews

One person was extricated from a vehicle that rolled off Highway 97 Feb. 25, 2021, near Clerke Road in Coldstream around 2 p.m. (Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star)
Two hurt in Highway 97 rollover south of Vernon

Ambulance transfers two patients with non-life-threatening injuries

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A puppy stolen from a West Kelowna residence has been reunited with its family. (Kelowna RCMP)
Stolen puppy reunited with Central Okanagan owners

A happy ending; puppy stolen from West Kelowna vehicle found in Kelowna, returned to family

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

Most Read