Heading out on the May long weekend? Police will be out in force too

During last year’s May long weekend the RCMP handed out 1,034 speeding tickets to drivers going above the posted limit on BC’s highways – and of those 143 were ticketed for excessive speed.

This weekend may be the traditional start of vacation season, but it is also the start of our summer enforcement season, warns Constable Melissa Wutke, spokesperson for the BC RCMP Traffic Service.

Speed is still the leading cause of car crash fatalities in BC, she says, and speed is involved in 94 deaths, on average, across BC each year.

Cst. Wutke notes that those 143 vehicles which were speeding excessively last May long weekend, would have been impounded by police for seven days – and that a tow lot was probably not the destination most drivers had in mind.

While speed is always a focus for police, they will be watching for other risky driving behaviours – appropriate as this long weekend does fall during national Road Safety Week.

On the 2016 May long weekend, RCMP handed out the following infractions on BC highways:

  • 113 alcohol and drug infractions, including 45 drivers who were handed 90-day IRPs (Immediate Roadside Prohibitions) for failing a roadside impaired driving test
  • 76 violation tickets for use of an electronic device (distracted driving)
  • 34 tickets for unsafe passing

We want the motoring public to get to their destination safely, says Cst. Wutke. And if that takes handing out a few tickets, to help the public get the message, it’s worthwhile because we know our enforcement efforts will literally help save lives.

Another Busy Long Weekend Expected in the East Kootenays

The Cranbrook RCMP, is hoping everyone from the area, as well as those coming to our area, has a great, safe May long weekend.

(RCMP RELEASE) Cranbrook RCMP finds that this “first” weekend of camping often brings with it traffic issues and want to remind everyone to drive safely.  We all want to get out of the city this long weekend but here are a few reminders:

  • Be realistic about your travel times and check the road situation before you leave. Check drivebc.com for possible highway closures before heading out and allow extra time for delays that may occur, especially over the long weekend when more vehicles will be on the road. Relax… it’s a long weekend after all.
  • Plan a safe ride home or plan to spend the night – don’t drink and drive.
  • Slow down, keep your distance and buckle up.
  • Call 911 if you see an impaired driver and advise police of problem activity before it gets out of control.
  • All unlawfully kept liquor will be seized and violators could face fines. Please be sure to transport your liquor in your trunk or a space designated for storage in your vehicle.

With the amount of snow pack the East Kootenays received over this past winter, RCMP are also reminding boaters and swimmers to be aware of changing water conditions.  Cranbrook RCMP will be out on local waterways to ensure boaters are in compliance with boating regulations.  Safety tips to remember are:

  • If you cannot swim, stay out of the water and seek the shade instead.
  • Wear a personal flotation device. Tragedy can strike in an instant. Don’t assume that you will have time to put on a lifejacket.
  • Watch your speed. Don’t race to the lake and don’t race on the lake. Speed is a major contributor to incidents on the roadways and on the water.
  • Do not put your feet in fast moving water that is deeper than the length of your arm. If a foot becomes entrapped by rocky bottom in deep water, the current will eventually push the swimmer over face first into the water.
  • If you are going to a less-traveled area, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Always remember that alcohol and water don’t mix. Impaired driving laws are the same for operating a boat as they are for a vehicle

“Each May long weekend the East Kootenays area is filled to capacity with campers looking to camp for free on Crown Land.  The Cranbrook RCMP want people to have a great weekend, but want them to behave responsibly.  Have a great May Long Weekend but be safe out there!”

Slow down this Victoria Day long weekend​