Behind the Badge

Dal Hutchinson
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Be a responsible snowmobiler

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and are settling back in to their daily routine.

Winter is in full force. With the presence of snow and cold temperatures comes the enjoyment of outdoor activities. Snowmobiling is a sport enjoyed by many people in Cumberland County.

We have a well-maintained trail system which enables one to travel throughout our great outdoors. With that comes the responsibility to ensure that you are complying with the rules of the road and the laws that accompany operating a motorized vehicle.

The Off Highway Vehicles Act of Nova Scotia includes snowmobiles. You are required to have liability coverage and be able to show proof of it. As well, your machine is to be registered with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The exception would be circumstances where owners use their OHV's exclusively on their own property. Remember to seek permission to operate your snowmobile on land that does not belong to you.

As well, if traveling on a groomed trail system, you are legally required to have a trail permit and affixed to your snowmobile. Monitor your speed and be respectful of other operators who are on the trails. Wear your helmet and please do not operate your snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Department of Natural Resources and the RCMP have trained snowmobile operators who will be out enforcing these laws.

I would like to take this opportunity to discuss ways for people to prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime. Whether it involves fraudulent telephone calls and emails, credit card/identity theft, or property crimes, we all have a role in preventing this from happening to us.

There are daily reports in the newspaper, radio and television pertaining to different methods of fraud that are becoming more complex and convincing. If you receive a telephone call from someone requesting personal information, don't give it to them. Most reputable organizations will not ask for your information over the telephone, especially if you are already a customer of theirs, as they already have it.

Dispose of your confidential and personal information in a secure manner. Do not place such things in the garbage or recyclables. If you receive an email requesting personal information or wanting you to check out a good deal, don't open it. Click "delete" and empty your "trash". If someone comes to your door offering you a great deal on construction work. Don't accept. They will likely ask for money up front to do the work. Take their information, get a written estimate, and do your homework.

Many of these people target seniors. We have all heard of the "grandparent" scam. Someone calls pretending to be their grandchild and requesting help in an emergency. They then ask the grandparent to forward money to them. As difficult as this might be for a grandparent, don't do it. Telephone another family member and confirm if this is legitimate. This scam resulted in two reported cases here in Cumberland County which resulted in the loss of almost $20,000. If you receive any calls on your telephone that seem suspicious in nature, telephone Phonebusters - the Canadian Anti-fraud Call Centre, to report this at 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.phonebusters.com or your local police department.

When it comes to property crime there are many things we can do to prevent this, e.g. vehicle thefts or thefts from vehicles. Many of these incidents involve unlocked vehicles with the keys in them. As well, many thefts from vehicles can be prevented by just locking the doors when you get out and by not keeping anything of value in them or in plain sight. Remember, most criminals will look in before they enter to see what's visible. If they see something of value they'll get in, whether if the car is locked or not.

Remember - An ounce of precaution can help you have a great day!�

Organizations: Registry of Motor Vehicles, Department of Natural Resources, RCMP

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Nova Scotia

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