Traffic enforcement: Busy long weekend for police in B.C.’s Interior

In the North Okanagan, police say officers handed out 165 tickets for speed-related offences, along with nine impaired-driving investigations. File / Global News

It was a busy long weekend for police throughout B.C.’s Interior.

This week, some RCMP detachments issued press releases regarding traffic enforcement statistics during the Victoria Day long weekend.

In the North Okanagan, for example, the B.C. Highway Patrol says officers recorded 165 speed-related offences, 16 distracted driving charges, 14 seatbelt violations, nine impaired-driving investigations and three prohibited driving investigations.

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“Overall, it was a successful road safety weekend in the North Okanagan,” said RCMP Sgt. Allan Roberts. “The current travel restrictions played a significant role in the reduced activity on our roadways, I’m sure.

“We want to remind motorists that we all have a shared responsibility in keeping our roads safe. With May being aggressive driving enforcement month, the team will remain focused on reducing aggressive driving behaviour for the remaining few days.”

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In Grand Forks, police say between May 22 and 24, local officers conducted four impaired by drug investigations.

“Drug-impaired investigations are starting to rise compared to alcohol-impaired investigations,” said detachment commander Sgt. Darryl Peppler.

“While drug-impaired matters are investigated differently, we do have the tools, knowledge and experience to effectively and properly investigate these matters and bring them before the courts.”

Click to play video: 'Highway 97 near-miss caught on camera; truck uses turning lanes to pass'
Highway 97 near-miss caught on camera; truck uses turning lanes to pass

In West Kelowna, officers with the local detachment and B.C. Highway Patrol ran a two-day project, May 20-21, on Highway 97C.

Police say 17 warnings and 60 tickets were issued for various violations of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act, including 11 for excessive speed, and two for driving without due care and consideration.

They also said a commercial truck driver, a 45-year-old man from Alberta, was issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition after failing a breath sample, and that his vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

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Long weekends are notorious for being deadly in terms of our roads and highways, says Cpl. Bryan Mulrooney of the West Kelowna RCMP Community Safety Unit. This initiative was a great step in ensuring the safety of the motoring public in our area.

In northern B.C., Prince George officers checked 1,000 vehicles on Saturday night at three different locations.

Police say several tickets were issued, along with three 90-day immediate roadside prohibitions, three vehicles with no insurance, two excessive speeding impoundments and one 24-hour suspension for alcohol.

Click to play video: 'Fleeing car hits power pole in Kelowna'
Fleeing car hits power pole in Kelowna

RCMP also said officers in Salmon Arm responded to five situations involving people experiencing mental health crises.

“Anecdotally, Salmon Arm RCMP continues to be called to assist those experiencing a mental health crisis at a relatively high rate,” said staff sergeant and detachment commander Scott West. “This past long weekend was no exception.

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“Although long weekends and holidays tend to result in more calls for help, the local Salmon Arm RCMP recognize that during the 2020 May long weekend police responded to only one call for police service.”

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Roadside swab new tool for police detecting impaired drivers

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