RCMP patrolling Haines Summit and White Pass Summit this weekend

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Snowmobile enthusiasts from the Yukon might want to watch out when heading out to Haines Summit or White Pass Summit over Easter weekend.

Yukon and British Columbia RCMP have teamed up again this year to operate extra checkpoints and patrols in these areas, including on snowmobiles.Their main focus is to crack down on impaired driving on roads, slopes and camping areas. They are also going to be checking for registration and insurance for snow machines in accordance with the British Columbia Off-Road Vehicle Act (ORVA). Both passes are on the B.C. side of the border.

Yukon snowmobilers don’t ordinarily register and insure their machines, because neither is required in the territory. The added expense of doing so to ride in B.C. has caused some to change plans.

“It’s already an expensive thing to do and now under more stipulations,” said Tom Smith, a Yukoner who has stopped going up to the summits because of the regulations.

“I don’t need that kind of stuff when I’m just going to go out for a weekend and have some fun,” Smith.

Smith and a group of friends have chosen to stay in the Yukon and head up to Ketza Mine for a weekend of riding before the spring thaw to avoid the hassle of registering.

Getting caught without registration and insurance could lead to your machine getting impounded, according to Cpl. Adam Gardener in Carcross. ORVA regulations require all off-road vehicles to be insured in the backcountry. The Yukon only requires a person to register if they are using their snowmobile on a roadway, but not in the backcountry, according to Gardner.  

In order to ride on B.C. crown land, such as in the summits, riders must have registration and visible plates and stickers in accordance with their home province regulations. Failing to comply can have fines of $230.

If you do not have registration or licensing in your home province you must carry proof of ownership when riding on B.C.crown land. Failing to do this could lead to a fine of $109.

Other fines include $173 if caught not carrying a government issued I.D for all people 12-years-old and older when on a off road vehicle.

“Last year at Haines summit, they kind of told us then they would be enforcing it so that’s why I’m doing it now,” said Kyle Jacobs, registering his snowmobile before heading out to Haines Summit for the weekend.

However, Gardner said the main focus is on impaired driving. If you are caught drunk on your snowmobile the charge is the same as being caught in a vehicle. First time offenders are looking at a $1000 or more fine and loss of licence for at least a year. Multiple offenders caught impaired on a snow machine can lead to jail time.

“You probably won’t be able to go very far without seeing a police officer,” said Gardner.

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Originally posted 2018-03-30 17:16:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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