The BC RCMP will be conducting more road checks this weekend in an effort to curb recreational travel across the province.
As the May long weekend gets underway, the BC RCMP wants to remind British Columbians that restrictions on non-essential travel are still in place and road checks will be increased this weekend.
Over the past two weeks police have established rotating checks at four locations. While overall traffic volume has been less than normal levels, we did see an increase in traffic this past weekend, explained Superintendent Holly Turton, Officer in Charge, BC Highway Patrol.
From May 6 to May 8 a total of 1,412 vehicles were checked, and there was one voluntary turnaround. From May 14 to 16, a total of 2,069 vehicles were checked and 30 vehicles voluntarily turned around.
Since last weekend, BC RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Janelle Shoihet told Vancouver Is Awesome that no tickets have been issued.
Road checks will remain at the four established locations. However, additional locations for road checks will not be listed until they are already up and running, explained Shoihet.
While the public has been supportive of our officers at the checks, we know that more people are typically on our roads and highways on long weekends. We would like all travellers to know that we will be increasing the number and duration of the road checks leading up to, and through this long weekend, said Turton.
Here are the four established locations:
- Highway 1 in the Boston Bar area
- Highway 3 in the Manning Park area
- Highway 5 in the Old Toll Booth area
- Highway 99 in the Lillooet area
Drivers are reminded that they should not be travelling between the three established regions of Vancouver/Fraser Valley, Northern/Interior, Vancouver Island unless for essential purposes.
Non-essential travel under the Emergency Program Act
Only one person has been issued a ticket for non-essential travel under the Emergency Program Act. On May 1, a North Vancouver man heading over the Malahat when he was pulled over for speeding and other offences by an RCMP traffic officer. The officer asked the driver why he was travelling and he was told to get back on the ferry.
Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth told reporters in a press briefing April 23 that a $575 fine will be issued to people who contravene the new order restricting non-essential travel in the province.
However, Farnworth added that "at any time, failure to comply with the requirements of a road check may result in a $230 fine."
When stopped at a road check restricting non-essential travel, police only have the authority to request:
- a driver’s name, address and driver’s license
- any available documentation regarding driver’s name and address (for example, secondary identification that confirms a driver’s residential address if recently moved)
- the purpose of the driver’s travel (documentation regarding travel is not required)
Passengers in vehicles will not be checked.