© Submitted photo
Alberton town councillor Natasha Dunn, Fire Chief Tom Murphy and RCMP Cpl. Scott Lundrigan make plans for a Sept. 5 information session on ATV use. The 7 p.m. session will be held at the Alberton Fire Hall.
ALBERTON – Alberton town councillor, Natasha Dunn, sat with wide-eyed amazement during the August council meeting while an RCMP officer discussed an RCMP crack-down on all-terrain vehicle use in western P.E.I.
Dunn said she subsequently took away her son’s 4-wheeler privileges.
“It was the first time I had heard some of this stuff,” Dunn admitted. “I had no idea.”
She suspects she was not the only parent who didn’t realize children under 14 shouldn’t be operating the machines.
“It’s just the norm up here,” she said.
Since that council meeting and word of an RCMP crack down Dunn has been fielding calls from parents wondering about their children’s ATV use.
So she decided to organize a public information meeting on the matter. “Instead of me giving the public my own interpretation of the law, lets get it right from the RCMP,” she concluded. She’s arranged the session for Thursday, September 5, 7 p.m., at the Alberton Fire Hall. Corporal Scott Lundrigan from the RCMP will be in attendance to answer questions and concerns and Alberton Fire Chief Tom Murphy will discuss the fire department’s role as first responders.
Dunn noted the fire department has had to respond to fatalities in the Alberton area involving youth on ATVs.
The meeting, she said, has also piqued the interest of a local ATV group and she welcomes the attendance of anyone. “The more the merrier,” she said. “I plan on learning a lot from the session as well,” she admitted. She has questions about operators right to cross roads or use the shoulder of roads, for instance.
“It’s not just where you can drive your ATVs or dirt bike. It’s registration. Insurance. All that,” she said in mentioning questions area residents might want answered.
While Dunn admits her son wasn’t happy about using his ATV privileges, she noted a significant drop in ATV activity in Alberton since the RCMP officer’s presentation during the August council meeting. She suspects other parents have cut back on their children’s ATV use.
“It just seems to have dropped right off.
They’re hardly ever on the streets any more; not nearly as much as they used to be,” she observed.