Cops nab speeders over long weekend

Patrol units were out in full force over the holiday weekend, ticketing excessive speeders and catching a few impaired drivers.

Update: May 25

West Kootenay Traffic Services and Nelson IRSU confirm there were no serious or fatal crashed in the Kootenay Boundary over the long weekend.

The roads were very busy but with a large presence of enforcement and rainy weather, the motoring public stayed safe.

Not all motorists adhered to traffic laws – patrol units stopped and charged 19 drivers with excessive speed and their vehicles were impounded for seven days due to traveling in excess of 40 km/hr over the posted speed limit.

The highest speed was 167 km/hr in a 100 km/hr zone which was a truck pulling a large cargo trailer passing cars.

Three impaired drivers were apprehended with two of them leading to criminal charges. One was charged with possession for the Purpose of Trafficking for 10 lbs of marijuana and the other, Breach of Probation.

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Traffic was heavy and many drivers were not behaving, says Sgt. John Ferguson from West Kootenay Traffic Services.

The soon-to-retire RCMP officer was referring to patrol units out in full force over the holiday weekend, mostly ticketing excessive speeders and catching a few impaired drivers.

While numbers won’t be available until later today (Tuesday), Sgt. Ferguson confirmed that up until Monday afternoon, 12 to 15 people were pulled over for driving well above the speed limit.

“It’s been a very busy weekend, people are still not slowing down,” he told the Trail Times Monday morning. “It’s just ridiculous, these are people traveling in excess of 40 kilometres (km) over the 100 km speed limit. They did numerous road checks Friday and again on Saturday, even up until 11 p.m., they were getting speeds of 130 km and 140 km.”

While it appears drivers didn’t get the ICBC and police message to slow down Victoria Day long weekend, there is a brighter side, locally anyway.

“On the good side, touch wood, we have not had any serious or fatal crashes in the Kootenay Boundary so far, Ferguson added. “I think the weather helped us it hasn’t helped the people who want to enjoy the outdoors, but I think it helped us on the roads.”

Last year, 59 people were injured in 330 crashes throughout the Southern Interior over the Victoria Day long weekend, according to an ICBC report.

Police have stepped up enforcement throughout the month of May, targeting high-risk driving behaviours, specifically speeding.

The high-risk driving campaign aims to remind drivers to slow down so they can be more prepared to react to the unexpected. The month-long campaign includes enhanced police enforcement, volunteer Speed Watch deployments in high crash locations and awareness initiatives in communities across the province.

Almost half, or 43 per cent, of all police-reported casualty crashes in B.C. have high-risk driving as a contributing factor. High-risk driving includes speeding, failing to yield, running red lights, following too closely and improper passing.