Question: What can a S.T.O.P. Officer enforce on the trail system?
Answer: We enforce the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act and local by-laws. We can write tickets for speeding, careless driving, fail to produce evidence of insurance along with over another 100 regulations. We check snowmachines, using a portable computer, to see if they are stolen. We "assist" the Police in sobriety spot checks. We also respond to snowmobile accidents, lost snowmobilers and nuisance complaints involving snowmobiles. We also set up safety booths, participate in school educational programs and give aid to snowmobilers in distress. I most likely forgot something and will be reminded by my fellow Officers.
Question: Are you paid for your time?
Answer: We are "not" paid for our time. We supply our own machines, fuel, oil, repairs, insurance and time out of our pockets. We spend a great deal of our time on streets enforcing local by-laws so sliders and runners are replaced frequently.
Question: Sounds like expensive volunteer work, but getting to go out riding a couple of times a year must be fun.
Answer: We are required to be out on patrol for 10 hours a week but most of us put in over 15 hours. We also have to attend training sessions which amounts to about 40 hours a season. While most snowmobilers are out riding and enjoying our trail system we are set up on some intersection on the trail with no amenities, attending an accident scene, searching for a lost snowmobiler or on a street somewhere trying to keep as much access to our trail system as possible. To answer your question, yes it is enjoyable helping our sport.
Question: It must be discouraging to try to keep the sport as safe as possible and still have 27 fatalities on the trails?
Answer: Only 3 of the 27 fatalities were on the organized trail system but that was three to many. Time and time again we inform the public to stay on the organized trail system and stay off the lakes until the clubs have staked them but there are always some people who think they know better. Alcohol and speed are the two biggest factors in all fatalities. The majority of the fatalities are on lakes/rivers followed closely by roads.
Question: Can you categorize the type of person having the majority of the accidents?
Answer: Yes, a male between the age of 21 to 30 who has been drinking, driving at a high rate of speed either on a lake/river or roadway on a Saturday between 4:00p.m. and midnight.
Question: How many S.T.O.P. Officers are there in the Sudbury area and is S.T.O.P. set up anywhere else?
Answer: In the Sudbury area at the present time we have 8 sworn Special Constables and 8 trainees. S.T.O.P. is up and running in North Bay, Thunder Bay, Kawartha/Halliburton and Simcoe with Muskoka and Sault Ste. Marie coming on line. This makes 58 S.T.O.P. Officers and 42 trainees in Ontario.