Motorists stay safe over long weekend

DRIVERS IN the local area enjoyed a safe long weekend with no major crashes or arrests for alcohol, according to local highway patrol officers.

  • Jul. 7, 2011 1:00 p.m.

DRIVERS IN the local area enjoyed a safe long weekend with no major crashes or arrests for alcohol, according to local highway patrol officers.

Police issued eight seatbelt violation tickets, 30 speeding violation tickets and nine tickets for other things such as no front licence plate, said Const. Derek Nicolai of North District West Traffic Services.

Officers did not see any alcohol-related offences and no major collisions, he said.

“The thing we target most is alcohol so that’s really good,” he said about the lack of motorists drinking and driving.

“I think with the new legislation in place it’s taking a big effect,” he added about the lowering of the limit for blood alcohol level from 0.08 mg to 0.05 for a driver to be penalized.

Police launched a summer Drinking and Driving Counterattack campaign at the beginning of this month, as people tend to drink while camping, playing outdoor sports or at barbecues and then decide to drive, said a police press release.

Since the start of the Immediate  Roadside Prohibition Program (IRP) last September, there has been a 50 per cent decrease in crashes and fatalities related to alcohol, based on data for the same time since 2004, the release continued.

The IRP lets officers issue an immediate 90-day driving ban and a fine to drivers who fail a breath sample at a roadside blood alcohol test.

Penalties were also introduced for drivers who blow 0.05 up to 0.08, although that range was modified to 0.06 to 0.08.

There are additional penalties for repeat offenders including putting an Interlock Ignition Device on a car so the driver has to provide a breath sample before and while driving in order for the vehicle to start and remain running.

“Although significant improvement in highway safety has been realized, impaired driving  enforcement remains a priority for traffic officers along with addressing non-use of seatbelts and aggressive driving as these issues continue to be associated to fatal and injury motor vehicle crashes in BC.,” it said.

Police remind the public to plan for a safe sober ride home ahead of time – don’t take a vehicle, do take a cab or get a ride with a sober friend.