Saturday, 7 February 2009

Safety and seasonal visitors

The seasonal visitors have much more sense than the tourists, but many find our region a great place to play. They leave their common sense at home. They drink too much and play too much - in that order. *See other blog posts (below) for details.

Currently, with an anticipated melt this weekend, I fear that we will lose some tourists to thin ice. You can see our lake shore photo. There is a bit of a puddle, and open water where the land snow melted into the lake. The lake is a constant 4 C. temperature underneath all that ice. The ice bends and flexes with the wind. (See my YouTube video! It is quite fascinating.)

They say the ice on Lake Simcoe, to our south, is 35 cm thick. And that may well be, but we still lose snowmobile drivers at an alarming rate. Most accidents occur off-trail, which implies that we ought to be much better at training our young people.

In one story,The Bracebridge Examiner and Gravenhurst Banner - 2008: The Year ..., ice fishing and drowning resulted in the deaths of three Lake of Bays men. The great Lake Erie ice fishermen rescue is a big story of stupidity. (Stupidity being the active pursuit of ignorance.) Why would you not listen to broadcast warnings of daytime temperatures of +7 C.? Why build a bridge across a crack in the ice. The ice is floating on a fluid, permanently liquid lake that remains at 4C . all winter. This does not change, except for the depth of the ice.

What bothers me is that with Marine Laws governing speed vs. distance from shore for boaters. Mostly, it is the noise. You just never know what these people will do, or where they will go.

When I complained about a neighbour's lack of respect in tree huggers, it resulted in an obvious taunting and disrespect for our peace and quiet and enjoyment of the lakefront. They did the snowmobile equivalent of wheelies in front of our property. Today they go back and forth and back and forth. The power of the machines frightens me.

At what point do the by-laws kick in? It is my belief that we are to respect each other. This should include our right to enjoy this beautiful land, sans these useless toys. If they kept to the trails I would be happier. While the noise is still offensive even back in the forest, across the railway tracks, it is much less so. They race each other back there, but they are confined to the trail.

The laws are toothless and powerless. Our by-law control officers are best utilized in the towns, not by the lakes. The Marine Laws are ignored and flaunted in summer, I suppose there is no reason it should not happen in winter!

The seasonal visitors won't be back until May - there is that. I look forward to the ice disappearing and cool temperatures that keep the tourists away. There are differences between residents, seasonal visitors and tourists, who lack any understanding that many of us live and work here. We have to get up in the morning for (volunteer) work or other activities. I shudder as I read about Realtors who suggest more seasonal visitors rent properties to be able to afford to keep the cottage. These rentors have no respect, Fireworks continue to fly. Meantime, I hope for + zero temperatures and a little caution. Our EMS folks need not be called out for carelessness, they are busy enough.

More on the recent weekend wackos:
My MPP sent me some information:
Below are the speed limits for snowmobiles. You may find the information on this website of some help. If you are having problems with speeding sleds in your area, you may contact the local OPP detachment. They can arrange for a sled patrol to perform radar enforcement in the problem area.

Speed Limits

50 km/h - on snowmobile trails
20 km/h - on roads where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less
50 km/h - on roads where the speed limit is over 50 km/h


Megan said...

We have only 40,000 residents in the NWT, but we still have drownings almost every year. These are TOTALLY PREVENTABLE, and yet they still happen. It's terrible.

Betsy Dornbusch said...

I live in Grand Lake CO and we ride Polaris 600s. People drown in the lakes all the time, usually late at night coming home from the bars.

Should your snowmobile happen to fall through without you on it, the county charges you TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS a day that it remains submerged.

With literally thousands of miles of trails and Rocky Mountain National Park next door, riding on the lakes is the height of stupidity.

lyzzydee said...

Some people are ignorant, every dog has its day!!

debra said...

The Lake Erie ice fishermen prove that stupidity is alive and well. They built wooden bridges across the cracks in the ice!!!! Amazing.

Sepiru Chris said...

asymmetrical social contracts...

Reb said...

I can't stand the idiot things people will do in the name of entertainment. It doesn't entertain your neighbours, or the people whose land you tear up. (My sister has a ranch in N.Alberta - quads in summer, hunters in fall, snowmobiles in winter leaving fences open on the cattle lease)

Sounds like Betsy's county has the right idea, hit them in the pocketbook. Insurance companies should follow suit and not pay out for stupidity.

Linda McLaughlin said...

The ignorance and stupidity of some people is just stunning. I couldn't believe it when I read about the fishermen having to be rescued from Lake Erie. What were they thinking? That was just insane. Hope you get the weather you want and that the idiots stay away for a while.

Lauren said...

I ran across this on the MTM link list. That's horrible that they go right in front of your house!

Travis Erwin said...

You can't fix stupid.