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Insight from WFPD: Riding snowmobiles allowed in certain areas

As the temperature drops and snow begins to fly, those of you who enjoy winter activities can't wait to get out on snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

As many of us at the West Fargo Police Department understand your enthusiasm, we also want to remind you of some basic safety tips and rules that will apply. If you are out on your snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle we encourage you to wear all appropriate safety gear. Also make sure that your machine is in good running order and that you let someone know where you will be riding.

"Under chapter 13-2003 of the West Fargo City Ordinance it shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, or off-road motorcycle within the city limits of the city of West Fargo." What this means is that you cannot ride your snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle anywhere in West Fargo unless you are unloading it off your trailer, or when the vehicle is being used as a utility vehicle for purposes which include, but are not limited to, the maintenance of lawns and gardens, or snow removal.

One of the areas that is seeing a lot of snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle traffic is the ditch next to Sheyenne Street, south of I-94. According to the same ordinance, "in an area south of Interstate 94 which is zoned agricultural, as long as the vehicle is not on a street right of way, other than a road ditch, you are not able to ride your machine along the ditch or when leaving from your property in Eagle Run." If you are stopped by an officer, you are subjected to the fine of $100.

Lastly, the West Fargo Police Department would ask that you do not ride your machines on the diversion. The diversion was built to help stop rising river water so that the area in West Fargo does not flood. (This protects the lives of all our citizens, their property and the city's infrastructure).

When a machine is ridden on the banks and top of the project, it begins to erode. If you are caught on the diversion with your snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle, you are subjected to a $1,000 fine and or arrest.

The West Fargo Police Department would like to wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday season. If you have any questions, contact the West Fargo Police Department at 433-5500.