Roadside enforcement near Castlegar reveals 'alarming' trend
A four-day enforcement effort about eight kilometres out of Castlegar on Highway 3B (the route to Grand Forks) has left police deeply concerned about dangerous driving along that stretch of highway, according to RCMP West Kootenay Traffic Services Cpl. Phil Mager.
Mager said that, in just four days, police impounded more than 80 cars and issued more than 150 violation tickets over and above the impounds.
“We’re seeing a disturbing trend of aggressive driving on that highway,” Mager said. “Extreme speeds like 150, even 180 – the highest speed (we clocked someone at during the four days) was 188 (kph).
“At that speed, if a person were to go off road, hit another vehicle or hit a wild animal, the damage would be devastating.”
Compounding the problem, many of the drivers were also under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time.
“It was quite alarming to us, the speeds people were driving at,” Mager said. “It’s not just passing. It’s people who have the highway all to themselves.
“They’re putting everyone’s lives at risk – there are many other people who are obeying the law and driving carefully. These aggressive drivers endanger, not just themselves, but everyone around them, as well.”
He said that, even though the police vehicles were visible from a long way off, some drivers were going so fast, their efforts to stop ended up with screeching tires and smoking brakes.
“Roads here are winding mountain roads, with curves and hills – they weren’t designed for that kind of speed,” he said, adding that shaving a few minutes off your drive time is not a rational reason to jeopardize your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of everyone else on the road.
“We just want to get the word out that people need to slow down and be patient on our highways.”