News

Police stop 7,000 drivers on Vancouver Island

CANDACE WU

news@pqbnews.com

More than 7,000 Vancouver Island drivers were stopped last weekend by the RCMP.

Set up along various Island highways, the Light Up the Highway campaign saw 43 police officers patrolling the roads on Friday night.

"It's a coordinated road check throughout the Island," said Operations NCO of Central Island Traffic Services Corp. Mike Elston. "Basically the goal of it is to ensure there are road checks on major highways on a specified evening."

The traffic campaign has been conducted annually for eight years, said Elston, adding that it's a "real show of coordinated enforcement."

According to RCMP, the results of the campaign were relatively steady in comparison to past years.

Preliminary results of the campaign indicate RCMP issued one Criminal Code impaired driving offense, 11 Immediate Roadside Prohibitions, four 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions, three prohibited driving offenses, six drug seizures, 153 violation tickets and 21 Notice and Orders.

Elston said the low number of infractions stems from recently heightened drinking and driving regulations.

"We come across a lot of people who may not have personally had a drinking and driving incident, but know someone who has," said Elston. "People don't want to get caught up in that net. It's certainly a far cry from what it was a few years ago."

Additionally, December tends to be a fairly tame month because drivers are expecting road blocks, explained Elston, noting that the vast majority of enforcement deals with non-alcohol or drug related issues and more with people driving contrary to the conditions of their licence.

RCMP said the campaign garnered a strong level of public support for their efforts and remind drivers that they will be patrolling the roads over the holiday season.

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