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Dirt bikes seized

Police warn drivers to stay off roads

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Panniqtuuq (Oct 21/02) - The dangerous use of off-road motorbikes in Panniqtuuq has forced the RCMP to take action.

They seized two motorbikes last week, and threaten to take more if residents continue to use them recklessly.

Cpl. Law Power said it was only a matter of time before someone would have been hurt.

He also said most of the reckless driving was done by people under the legal age of 16.

"They've been speeding. They don't have any headlights. They drive them in the dark. It was creating a danger," said Power.

Nunavut's legislation states the use of off-road motorbikes is prohibited on roadways in the territory.

In a letter to the hamlet, the manager of services and inspections for motor vehicles in Nunavut, Tom Bragard, said off-road motorcycles cannot be licenced.

He wrote: "An off-road motorcycle does not fit the definitions in Nunavut's legislation allowing registration as either a motorcycle under the Motor Vehicles Act or as a 'special all-terrain vehicle' under the ATV Act and Motor Vehicles Act."

No charges have been laid in relation to the incidents in Panniqtuuq so far. But Power said RCMP did confiscate two dirt bikes last week that were being used improperly by local teens.

Those motorbikes will eventually be returned to their rightful owners but a warning will go with them.

Power said more dirt bikes will be seized if they are being used on roadways in the community.

Warnings have already been broadcast on the community's radio station and have been posted in public buildings.

Power said the RCMP regrets having to take these actions but the legislation must be enforced because of a commitment to the government and the safety of the community.