September 13, 2017 – Fifteen people will be receiving tickets in the mail after being caught on camera using highway vehicles on the Iron Horse Trail to access the iconic Beaver River Trestle.
Earlier this year, the Riverland Recreational Trail Society approached M.D. Council with concerns about highway vehicles accessing the Beaver River Trestle near Cold Lake via the trail. Council agreed to help with the problem by installing signs (see below) and a camera at the trail to catch offenders in the act.
“It (the camera) takes a photo after vehicles have passed the sign and the fence,” explained Director of Public Safety, Chris Garner.
The camera is set up to take a photo of the vehicle license plate.
Between the end of May 2017 and the first week of August, over 50 vehicles were caught on camera ignoring the signs.
“There is an option of a $1,000 fine,” Garner said. “But we applied a different part of our bylaw to levy $250 fines instead.”
The fines were sent to the registered owners of the vehicle, in accordance with Section 160(1) of the Alberta Traffic Safety Act.
“With 55 vehicles being caught on camera in just over two months, that’s almost a vehicle a day,” said Marianne Janke of Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail. “That’s a lot of vehicle traffic for a trail that’s supposed to have none. We think some people may not know they are not allowed to drive highway vehicles on the trail. Hopefully this brings some awareness to the issue.”
Janke hopes the tickets will deter people from driving on the trail.
“In an effort to continue to protect this piece of heritage, we encourage people to keep their highway vehicles off of the Iron Horse Trail and away from the Beaver River Trestle,” she said.
The Beaver River Trestle was reopened last year after a portion of it was destroyed by arson, which caused $5 million in damages.