Alarming stats in 2015 says West Kootenay Traffic Services
John Ferguson of the West Kootenay Traffic Services said police is concerned heading into the New Year after RCMP saw an increase in impaired driving charges in 2015.
“Our impaired driving charges increased by 35 percent and our 1, 3 and 7 day alcohol suspensions increased by 100 per cent,” Ferguson said in a year-end media release.
“This is an alarming increase,” Ferguson said, adding drug impaired also increased by 10 percent.
“We cannot stress enough the devastation an impaired charge or a Immediate Roadside Prohibition can have on the driver, family or victims of a crash.”
Ferguson said Nelson IRSU and WKTS, which patrol area covers a vast roadway of the Kootenays and Boundary region, worked hard all year to make the roads safe for everyone.
“We lost four people on fatal collisions this year, a decrease of 60 percent since 2014, however, four is still too many,” he said.
“Our condolences go to the families and friends.”
Ferguson said members will be increasing our enforcement in hopes of getting the message across in 2016.
“Do not drink alcohol or use illicit drugs and drive your car,” Ferguson stressed.
Other fact from 2015 include the a 25 percent increase in Drug seizures and a 100 per cent increase in drug trafficking charges, all related to people traveling our roads with illegal drugs.
Ferguson said seatbelt and cell phone decreased.
“We know cell phone usage or distracted driving is still one of our main causes of crashes and be aware increased enforcement in 2016 will continue,” he said.
Ferguson said excessive speeds, 40 km over the posted speed limit increased dramatically by 50 percent.
“We cannot stress enough to slow down and drive to the road conditions, not the posted speed limit,” he said.
Ferguson said the mandate is to make the Kootenay Boundary roads the safest in BC and we will continue to strive to do this through enforcement and education.
“We need the public as well to understand that their adverse actions on the roads can and will affect themselves and others,” he said, adding that everyone have a great 2016 and please stay safe.