RCMP members have been receiving complaints of damage to property from users of off-highway vehicles. The Ponoka RCMP hope to educate users and landowners on their rights.

RCMP members have been receiving complaints of damage to property from users of off-highway vehicles. The Ponoka RCMP hope to educate users and landowners on their rights.

Private property damaged by off-highway equipment

Complaints of property issues regarding the use of off-highway vehicles have Ponoka RCMP members looking to educate residents.

Complaints of property issues regarding the use of off-highway vehicles have Ponoka RCMP members looking to educate residents on their proper use.

A statement from the RCMP indicates that both town and the county residents of Ponoka have had some issues. “Recently members of the community have had their private property damaged by users of OHV such as snowmobiles and ATVs,” offers the statement.

Along with damage to fences from users gaining access to fields, some individuals have been entering properties and then leaving the gates open, which gives animals a way to exit a property.

For these issues, RCMP advise residents post “No Trespassing” signs at each of the entrances of their properties.

“When there is no fence currently in place, the signs are to be posted at the corners of the landowner’s property,” says the statement.

“In doing so, operators of OHVs will be made aware that land owners do not wish to have people on their land.”

Users who disobey these rules may be served a summons to attend court or be issued a fine under three acts: the Petty Trespass Act, Trespass to Premises Act, or Criminal Code Charges.

Ponoka RCMP members request users to respect landowners and their property and to remain on designated OHV trails or on public land that allows OHV operation. Users could face fines under the Traffic Safety Act if they are in contravention of the bylaw, explained the release.

Another way to get a ticket is if an OHV’s muffler is too loud or has mechanical issues. “All OHV are required to have valid registration and insurance when operating on public property.”

Police recommend having their vehicles registered on the chance that the equipment is stolen and then recovered.

Fines related to certain infractions are as follows:

Failure to produce insurance under section 119(1)(b) the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta may result in a fine of $310.00.

Operating an OHV without insurance or without registration may result in a fine of $155.00.

Failure to display a secure and or attached, legible and clearly visible license plate may result in a $78.00 fine under the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta.

Anyone wishing to use an OHV in Town of Ponoka limits are permitted for the sole purpose of loading and unloading an OHV onto a trailer or vehicle or to a property.

Ponoka County’s bylaw allows the use of the OHVs when carrying out agricultural pursuits “on any road or highway under the direction, management and control of the County except as specifically provided for within this by-law.”

The county’s full bylaw can be found on its website at www.ponokacounty.com.

The RCMP would like to thank the public for their assistance in this matter.