City councillor calls for full ban on off-road vehicles inside city limits after fatal crash
Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) is calling for tougher measures to curb off-road vehicle use within Winnipeg after a pedestrian was killed in a collision with a snowmobile almost two weeks ago.
Ken Stammers, 51, was walking in a field near his home in Transcona when he was hit by a snowmobile and died.
Currently, snowmobiles are only allowed within certain areas of Winnipeg.
Coun. Wyatt wants a total ban of off-road vehicle use within the city.
"10, 20, 30 years ago we didn't have snowmobiles that can go 160 miles per hour," said Wyatt.
Wyatt said the current ticket for illegal operation of a snowmobile within prohibited areas within the city is too low to be a deterrent.
He wants to see a substantial increase from the existing $300 maximum fine.
Wyatt said authorities should have the power to seize and auction off the machines of people caught illegally using them within the city.
Carol Mathew lives near the field where the fatal snowmobile crash happened.
"(Stammers was) such a nice man…what happened to him is awful," said Mathew.
Even though snowmobiles, ATVs and dirt bikes are banned in the area, Mathew sees them all the time.
"The farmer doesn't care so why should I? It's country (area), but when somebody gets hurt, that makes a difference, for sure," said Mathew.
Mathew also wonders have stiffer penalties would be enforced.
"I don't see how they're going to be caught anyways, to tell you the truth," said Mathew.
Wyatt said he would like to see the police's off-road fleet expanded in order to ensure enforcement.
The councillor also wants to see a licensing system for drivers of off-road vehicles and an increase in the minimum age for unsupervised drivers, raising it to 16 from 14.
Wyatt's recommendations will be considered at the committee level, before council may have the chance to make changes to the current bylaw.
Winnipeg police officers have a map on their website outlining specifically where it is currently legal to operate an off-road vehicle within Winnipeg:
On Thursday, police said they will be conducting enforcement related to off-road vehicles within Winnipeg in upcoming weeks. Anyone with questions can call the River Patrol at 986-7085.
- with a report from CTV's Laura Lowe