Biggest law breakers are ATV riders, snowmobilers, and boaters

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During the 8-year period 2007 – 2015, game wardens gave more citations to ATV riders, snowmobilers, and boaters than any other outdoor group. ATV riders were the worst law breakers, getting a total of 4,863 citations for violating Maine’s laws.


Those citations broke out this way:


1,921          Operating unregistered ATV


1,229          Operating ATV on public way


433             Operating ATV on land without permission of landowners


413             Failure to display ATV registration numbers


247             Failure to present ATV registration


245             Unlawfully permitting operation of an ATV


220             Carrying a passenger on an ATV without headgear


155             Allowing minor to operate ATV in violation


Snowmobilers came in second for most violations, with 3,831, barely nosing out boaters. Those citations broke out this way:


1,862          Operating unregistered snowmobile


723             Violating snowmobile noise limits


636             Failure to provide and display snowmobile registration


449             Operating snowmobile left of center


161             Operating snowmobile on public way  


Boaters received 3,503 citations, broken out this way:


1,930     Operate watercraft without safety equipment


840         Unregistered motor boat


274         No lake or river protection sticker


252         Registration numbers not displayed


207         Operating at greater than headway speed where prohibited


You may be forgiven for thinking that Maine Game Wardns are the revenue police. Many of their citations go to those who didn’t pay the agency for something.


I have my own warden story to go with this column. One spring, up to camp, a game warden approached me as I got into my boat to go fishing, informing me that I had not registered my boat before bringing it to camp. I’d forgotten.


But as he began to write a citation for my violation, I gazed over to the warden’s boat, which they kept at our camps, and noticed that it had not been registered. Warden boats are supposed to be registered too.


I pointed out to the warden that his boat hadn’t been registered either, and we both agreed to get our boats registered, as he put away his citation book without giving me a citation.


In my next outdoor news column, we’ll take a look at citations given to anglers and hunters.










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