County and Town team to enforce Off Highway Vehicle Bylaw


Sturgeon County Fleet Maintenance services Manager Ken Hodge explains some of the features of the ATV to Morinville Community Peace Officer James Alaeddine before the vehicle was loaded on a truck. The quad is being loaned to Morinville by Sturgeon County for a 60-day pilot project. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – A new pilot enforcement project in Morinville has been made possible through the assistance of Sturgeon County. The County is lending Morinville one of its enforcement-equipped ATVs to allow Morinville peace officers to traverse the same terrain as those illegally driving off road vehicles within Town of Morinville limits.

Morinville Community Peace Officer James Alaeddine explained the purpose of the 60-day pilot project is mainly to raise awareness of the bylaw but also to curb damage being done in the community. “We know there’s plenty of users out there because we’ve had so much destruction of Town property that the Town has to go back in and grade it and level it off and what not,” he said. “There’s so many ruts in the areas behind where the tracks are, in Sunshine, on [Range Road]252 up by Cardiff area.”

Alaeddine said it could be that many ATV riders are not yet aware of the existence of the bylaw. “A lot of people come from Edmonton and move into the rural area and think [because] this is rural area, I just want to hop on my quad and go for a cruise,” he explained, adding he has stopped people in the past who said they had no idea about the bylaw. “That’s exactly what we want to do – heighten awareness.

Sturgeon County Public Services Manager Troy Grant said the decision to lend Morinville the ATV came after a request from Morinville’s Chief Administrative Officer, Debbie Oyarzun, to rent or lease an ATV for the project rather than have the Town invest in the equipment before seeing the effectiveness. Grant said the County was only too happy to assist. “That’s what makes us strong as a region,” he said. “That collaborative nature needs to be engrained even harder. It was a no-brainer from my perspective to say, ‘Absolutely, we’ll loan you one.”

Operating costs and liability during the 60-day loan will be covered by the Town of Morinville, and the vehicle will carry County markings to further display the cooperation between the two municipalities.

Grant said the loan is fundamentally an act of cooperation, one whereby the communities can grow stronger through this and other cooperative projects.

Under Morinville’s Off Highway Vehicle Bylaw, introduced in 2010, ATVs, including quads, snowmobiles, and amphibious vehicles are not permitted to drive on Morinville streets, parks or other lands within Town of Morinville limits. The bylaw can be viewed in its entirety at www.morinville.ca/downloads/off-highway-vehicle-bylaw-16-10.pdf.

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8 Comments

  1. What a good idea and kudos to Debbie for initiating this loan of the ATV to see if the program was feasible. Thanks to Sturgeon County for loaning the equipment.

  2. Not a week after we have an article about a crime and vandalism spree in Morinville, we have this?
    Does it not seem like perhaps there is more pertinent education and enforcement required than running down atv owners who wants to test out their machine in an empty field?
    Add up the cost of the quad, the cost of the officer, the cost of the ‘enforcement equipment’ on the quad, and the opportunity cost of not doing real enforcement (cleaning graffiti, replacing windows, etc).

    It all adds up to an inordinate amount of money being spent to prevent ruts. We only have so many dollars to invest in our town… let’s be smart with them.

  3. I myself was unaware of the bylaw. It is really dissapointing to see more fun police out there telling people to put down their fun, and stop having fun. When my wife and I seen the little boy, who lived at the house before we bought it, come out of the backyard on his little 50 and go for a ride in the field, we knew we wanted to buy that house. I hear recreational vehicles drive by all the time and I’ve never once had a problem or been concerned at all. I guess the next time my 8 year old boy wants to ride his Dirtbike I will have to tell him to stay inside and play some Nintendo.

  4. It’s a non-issue. Who cares? I’m not voting for a single Incumbant in the next election. They must’ve been bored while they were waiting for their fancy new offices. Town council should stop trying to justify their jobs and do something to make the town a better place to be. How bout we take that quad and put a spayer behind it so he can spray for Mosquitos while he is out saving the world. Get some priorities!!!

  5. Sean S / Mr Menard:
    Gents, you are missing the jist of this article! If you read the last line, this is what it’s all about. A $150 dollar fine for first offence and $250 for second / subsequent offences. This is just one more method of Morinville council generating revenue! Seems that’s all the Morinville peace officers do is enforce bylaws where there are fines involved. Why doesn’t council schedule the peace officers to patrol the streets at night to stop vandalism? Because the odds of catching these individuals is slim to say the least and their actions would be court related, so any fines would go to the province! A visible presence of these peace officers within the community is the most valuable tool that could be used to control wandering, destructive idiots at night. Unfortunately, the mandate of council seems to be to use these peace officers to generate revenue for the town, which irks me to no end as it is my (and your) tax dollars paying the salaries for these peace officers! Donate that shiny GMC SUV ($50,000 plus)that Morinville owns (with every bell and whistle added) to the local RCMP who could use it for it’s intended purpose. There is no need for the peace officers of Morinville to drive a huge SUV around our well maintained streets, a small vehicle would suffice. Instead, council seems to want to put the onus on volunteer groups like COPS to protect our Citizens while using intended resources to generate revenue!

  6. Hopefully while the town peace officers are out patrolling the fields along boundary road (the area south of Notre Dame and Grandin View Pointe)looking for those “evil” ATV owners who leave ruts, maybe just maybe you can issue a weed notice for that god forsaken weed mess that is back there. Invasive species are more of a threat than ruts from ATV tires. Also a weed notice can generate revenue for the town as well. So educate the weed owner and leave the families who are out for some wholesome family activities alone.

  7. Ok i’ll be the first to admit that i am one of the “outlaws” that ride my ATV in town. I own one of the widest ATVs on the market and i can ride in between the ruts people are (or arent in my oppinion)complaining about. 4×4 trucks are the ones causing those ruts and that nice SUV the peace officers use is one of the vehicles i have seen doing it! Also just take a walk down behind the grain terminal by 100th Street and look at all the junk that people throw behind their fences. Why isnt the RCMP enforcing litter laws. In my oppinion this is just another cash cow because the town had to put an end to photo radar. So now lets pick on the ATVs. Maybe if the people of Morinville had voted in the right “Man” for the job he would put an end to this crap too.

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