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HomeNewsHay River News'Stay off the road' says GNWT to illegal ice road drivers

‘Stay off the road’ says GNWT to illegal ice road drivers

The Dettah Ice Road closed last Friday for the season, but some people haven’t got the memo.

That’s according to the Department of Infrastructure (INF), who say they’ve seen more activity of people illegally driving on the closed road –and several other closed winter roads– recently.

RELATED: Dettah Ice Road, winter roads to close this weekend

They’re asking the public to remember that the roads are closed for a reason, and driving on a closed seasonal road can lead to a steep fine of nearly $900.

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“We build ice roads to improve our critical infrastructure and make traveling around in the wintertime as safe as possible, but as we get into the spring, Mother Nature tends to weaken those roads,” explained Kevin McLeod, assistant deputy minister of assets management within the INF.

“We close them when they’re unsafe and we would like people to stay off them and stay away from them and be as safe as possible.”

RELATED: Weather agency predicts warm, wet spring for Yellowknife

This year, the Dettah Ice Road opened on Jan. 6, the latest opening the ice road has seen since 1999. It closed on April 7, two weeks earlier than the road’s average closing date of April 21.

In the past we’ve heard stories of people driving on the closed winter roads and falling through the ice, something McLeod wants to avoid this year.

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“The main message here is stay off the road and you won’t be in a critical situation by falling through the ice,” he said.

“The fine is a deterrent, but really we are more concerned about keeping people safe.”

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