Many thoughts came to mind as I read the March 30 Whitehorse Star story, “ATV Users May Be Judged into Safety Course.”
The city’s goal is a multi-use trail. To think that a workable and safe compromise can be made between non-motorized and motorized folks is naive – that’s why we have roads for cars and sidewalks for pedestrians. The two modes of mobility don’t work as far as health and safety are concerned.
Trail etiquette: What trail etiquette? “I am here because I can be” is what I hear from machine users. In my experience I have to get out of the way of the machine.
Speed limits: How are you going to enforce them since the bylaw has stated there is not enough manpower to enforce any of the regulations?
Signage: Don’t waste taxpayers’ money. All of the signs that are already in place are ignored. Just look at the snowmobile tracks leading off Duke and Alsek where a large No Motorized Vehicles sign is placed, for example.
Optional helmet use off-road: Drivers of cars must wear seatbelts because they save lives. Helmets go a long way to prevent head injuries and death, so why not make them mandatory? If an ATVer or snowmobiler chooses not to wear one, then they must be held financially responsible for any injuries they may receive, not the taxpayer.
I am afraid the city’s new bylaws regarding motorized off-road vehicles are well-intentioned but truly naive.