At least one resident of a rural area of Sahtlam, around Culverton and Ellison roads, has complained to the RCMP about the many recreational vehicles that are illegally using the public roads, and he fears for the safety of the children and other people in the area. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

At least one resident of a rural area of Sahtlam, around Culverton and Ellison roads, has complained to the RCMP about the many recreational vehicles that are illegally using the public roads, and he fears for the safety of the children and other people in the area. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Resident complains about illegal vehicles on public roads in Sahtlam area

RCMP say they have responded to calls

Layne Heck wants something done about the growing number of recreational vehicles driving illegally on public roads around his home.

Heck, who lives in a rural area of Sahtlam around Culverton and Ellison roads, said in the 22 years he has lived there, more and more unlicensed and uninsured vehicles — including side-by-sides, ATVs, quads and dirt biles — are driving on the public roads, with many of them speeding and driving dangerously.

He said he fears for the safety and health of his neighbours, some with young children, and himself.

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Heck said that on some days, he encounters more than 16 of the vehicles on local roads, with the weekends being the worst times.

“They sometimes use the public roads like a race course,” he said.

“They completely disregard the rules of the roads, with some even tossing beer cans to the side of the road as they travel by.”

Heck said there are no organized trail systems for the riders to use in the area, other than lands owned by the Mosaic forest company and other private properties where they are not permitted.

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“The situation has gotten a lot worse lately,” he said.

“I made about half a dozen calls to the RCMP since September, but they have never shown up. I want to see proper enforcement of the traffic laws in this area before something bad happens.”

In order to operate a motor vehicle on a public road in B.C., the vehicle needs to be insured under a motor vehicle insurance corporation like ICBC, but most of the off-road vehicles Heck describes can only be registered and are intended for off-road use.

Sgt. Trevor Busch, a spokesman for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, said the police have had a small number of complaints in the Culverton and Ellison roads area and that officers did respond and made immediate patrols there.

“Officers did investigate and located a house where the drivers of the ATV were believed to be residing,” he said.

“Officers did conduct a follow up to educate the owners and drivers about the Motor Vehicle Act, as well as explain the consequences and potential fines for infractions. The officers did attempt to contact the complainant after to update him about the police actions taken. In some cases, the complainant did not answer, or had asked for no further updates from our officers.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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