Complaints about littering, drinking and driving, and flouting helmet laws over the past weekend, has one of the creators of the Ghost Lake track exasperated.
Benjamin Laflamme, one of the designers of the drift track at Ghost Lake was alerted by the Cochrane RCMP to complaints that were received over the weekend. Laflamme and his team ended up having to go to the track at the end of the weekend to clean up the garbage left behind. But there were also other issues.
"It has been very, very busy way more than we expected. The more people that are going, that sometimes [means] a little bit of trouble," Laflamme said. "There were some unsafe activities. People are going there with cars and quads and their side-by-sides. If you're driving a side-by-side, by law you need to wear a helmet; if you are driving a quad it's the same thing."
Laflamme observed that he thinks that some people think because they are on a lake, normal laws or rules don't apply when they very much do. Although the Cochrane RCMP was not available for comment at the time of publication of this article, LaFlamme said that the Mounties like the idea of the track and are supportive of it, just not the high jinks that they phoned him about.
"What's concerning is there's not much we can do about it; for myself and the team, we built the track, but we are not responsible for any of this because this is a public place," he said. "We don't own it. But we tried to send a message to everyone. But again, if you decide to just keep doing it, then there's not much I can do. I don't have any authority over anything that happens over there."
Asked if the RCMP warned him that there may be a possibility of shutting the track down, Laflamme said that he did not receive such information, but he is well aware it could happen.
"We just want to help the RCMP and co-operate with them and make sure that all of the bad stuff that happened on the weekend won't happen again, so we can keep displays going on for longer than two weekends."
Laflamme said he and his team started the track design on a piece of paper, which was then rendered on a computer program.
"We purchased some snow removal plows for side-by-side. Then we went over there one day to kind of assess where we going to position the track," Laflamme said. "We took some measurements for all the turns. And then we basically spent the full day we were like, basically nine people, part of the Faster Higher team were there with snow removal machine. We took like a full day to do that."
When asked if he is frustrated with the behaviour of some people who visited the track this past weekend, he said it's not only frustrating but disrespectful.
"If it wasn't for us, this [track] would not be there. I just feel like it's a disrespect for us and the team, especially since there is not much in this world right now that is fun like this, and that is free for everyone," he said. "We're smart enough to know that if this keeps happening and if the complaints keep going, then I'm pretty sure a shutdown could happen."