CN police get snowmobile to fight trespassing

While the snowfall so far might not warrant much use for it quite yet, CN police here now have a new snowmobile to aid in the fight against trespassing on CN property during the winter.
“As soon as we get some snow, I’ll be out there,” Cst. Pete LeDrew of the CN police said Monday morning.
“We’d been discussing getting a snowmobile for some time and then word came out about a month ago we’d be getting it,” he added.
The 2003 Polaris sled is equipped with red emergency lights, and CN police blue and red striping and logo on both sides. It will be used to patrol difficult-to-reach areas of railway property that are illegally used by snowmobilers.
Trespassing on CN property remains a problem, said Cst. LeDrew, particularly in the Fort Frances area, where he’s charged 59 people and issued warnings to 138 others since January.
“I’ve made presentations in schools from Atikokan to Rainy River, trying to get the message across to the kids,” he added. “Unfortunately, the adults are a different matter.”
With the onset of winter, snowmobilers aggravate the problem.
“Anyone who illegally enters the railway property with a snowmobile not only risks serious injury or worse, but also endangers the safety of railway employees. It’s a dangerous decision,” stressed Cst. LeDrew.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding trespassing, and we will enforce the law to its fullest extent,” he vowed.
Penalties for trespassing include fines ranging from $70-5,000 and up to two years in jail.
Cst. LeDrew said it is illegal for snowmobiles to travel along the railway in town, and that tracks only can be crossed at designated crossings at McIrvine Road, Williams Avenue, and Portage Avenue.
Snowmobiles are not permitted anywhere in the rail yard between Third Street and Fifth Street.
Train crews switch throughout the day and night, and may not see or hear a snowmobile until it’s too late. “There’s quite a lot of activity at the train yard, hooking and unhooking up cars,” noted Cst. LeDrew.
Once enough snow is on the ground, Cst. LeDrew will tackle trespassing in co-operation with the local OPP snowmobile patrol and the Sunset Country Snowmobile Club, patrolling CN property in Fort Frances, Atikokan, Rainy River, and Sioux Lookout.
CN police have all the powers of OPP and RCMP officers, and can charge trespassers under the Ontario Trespass to Property Act, the Canada Transportation Act, or the town bylaw #66-90.

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