SURREY (NEWS 1130) — As the province readies to relax some health and safety restrictions next week, RCMP is ramping up efforts to catch dangerous drivers after seeing an increase in excessive speeding during the pandemic.
“There has been a significant drop in traffic volumes since COVID-19 restrictions have been put in place. However, police across the province have reported an increase in the number of excessive speeding violations,” Supt. Holly Turton, with B.C. RCMP Traffic Services, said Friday.
“This is concerning, and unacceptable. I want to remind all motorists that the COVID-19 pandemic it’s not an excuse to disregard the law,” she added. “The faster you go, the higher the risk of being involved in a collision.”
On the same day, Richmond RCMP clocked a driver going 143 km/h in an 80 zone.
143 kmh in an 80 zone. Unacceptable at any time, any place, pandemic or otherwise. Our duty to maintain public safety on our roadways still remains. Excessive speed + instant impoundment pic.twitter.com/oFLvbxHMyQ
— Richmond RCMP (@RichmondRCMP) May 15, 2020
Turton said as the province eases some COVID-19 restrictions, traffic may increase on highways.
“As such, effective immediately, I have directed all B.C. RCMP Traffic Services officers to return to pre-COVID-19 enforcement levels, which includes enhanced enforcement to educate the driving public and target high risk driving behaviours.”
Those behaviours include excessive speeding, impaired driving, and driving without due care and attention, distracted driving, and using electronic devices while driving.
“According to provincial statistics, 114 people die, on average, every year in B.C. in crashes involving high-risk driving,” Turton said.
“Injuries and deaths that result from high-risk driving behaviors can be prevented. And it all starts with the person behind the wheel.”
The fine for excessive speeding in B.C. is $368 to $483, according to ICBC.