July 31, 2014 1:20 pm
Updated: July 31, 2014 5:50 pm

Okanagan highway popular speedway: RCMP

A new stretch of Highway 97 in Lake Country is popular with speeders, according to RCMP, calling it an alarming trend.

File/ Global Okanagan

LAKE COUNTRY, B.C. – It’s a slick, new section of highway through the Okanagan which can sometimes cut the commute between Vernon and Kelowna by about 10 minutes.

But too many motorists want to make better time and are being caught by RCMP speeding up to 70 km/h over the limit.

Cst. Kris Clark says excessive speeding on the new bypass around Lake Country is an alarming new trend.

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“RCMP have been conducting traffic enforcement along the new section of highway through Lake Country since it was opened last year but a new trend is emerging that is giving police concern for the safety of all road users,” he said in a release Thursday morning.

While the speed limit is 100 km/h, there were 26 drivers ticketed for excessive speeding on that section in one month at the beginning of summer.

“Between June 24, 2014 to July 24, 2014, police issued 26 Violation Tickets for Excessive Speeding on that highway,” says Cst. Clark. “Fifteen of the speeders were travelling 50 to 60 km/h above the posted speed limit while five were travelling 60 to 70 km/h above the limit and one was travelling in excess of 70 km/h above the limit.”

The drivers ticketed were between the ages of 17 and 78.

Excessive speeding fines start at $368 and top out at $483 and include a mandatory, minimum 7-day vehicle impound.

In November 2013, the Lake Country RCMP first brought the excessive speeding issue on the new $77 million stretch of highway to the mayor and council.

Police were also concerned about the limited space on the route for pulling over motorists but seem to be working around the issue.

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