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Posted: April 16, 2018

Columbia Valley RCMP Report

By Cpl. Brent Ayers

This past week, April 9 through to April 15, the Columbia Valley Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to approximately 27 calls for service. For this same time period in 2017 this office had responded to 22 calls for service.

It has rained and I can see fresh snow on Mount Swansea, and we are all still waiting for spring. Here are a few examples of some of the files that were dealt with by our officers this past week.

Mischief to vehicle

On April 7, Columbia Valley RCMP received a complaint of mischief to a vehicle that had occurred the week previous while parked at the Horse Thief condos in Panorama Mountain Resort. The complainant was from out of province. An unknown culprit had smashed the rear window on the complainant’s blue 2007 GMC Sierra Pickup. It was reported that it appeared that nothing had been stolen from the truck. In this instance police had not attended as was not reported till after the complainant had returned back to Calgary.

24-hour suspension

On April 10, at round 11 p.m., a member of the Columbia Valley RCMP was on patrol in a marked police car in the area of 13th Street in Invermere. A truck was noted to have a burnt out headlight travelling west on 13th St. A traffic stop was initiated and the officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and spoke to the driver who identified themselves with a valid British Columbia driver’s license. The lone driver was noted to have reddish eyes and the officer asked the subject if they had had anything to drink. The driver stated that they had one beer about an hour and a half ago. This formed the officer’s suspicion and grounds to conduct an investigation into drinking and driving. The use of the Approved Screening Device (ASD) demand was read to the subject verbatim from the RCMP provided charter card. The driver advised that they understood the demand. Again the driver stated that their last drink of alcohol would have been about an hour and a half ago. At 11:46 p.m. the driver provided a sample of breath into ASD: 203055 (ex:2018-04-29). The reading displayed “58” which was shown the driver. A 24-hour driving prohibition was served. The vehicle was driven off by a sober friend and the driver’s license was seized for 24 hours.

$368 fine for passing stopped school bus

On April 11 Columbia Valley RCMP received a complaint from the Rocky Mountain School District (SD6) regarding a vehicle that passed a stopped school bus.

The bus driver provided a report of a described sport utility vehicle with a valid British Columbia license plate passing the stopped school bus with the red lights and stop sign displayed.

The infraction had actually occurred on April 6, at approximately 8:07 a.m. on Highway 93/95 in Radium Hot Springs near Green Acres Mobile home park.

The school bus driver described the driver of the vehicle as a male in his 30s and other specific identifiers. Surveillance video of the vehicle was obtained which showed the northbound truck passing the stopped school bus with stop sign out and red lights flashing. The registered owner of the vehicle was issued a Violation Ticket for Fail to Stop for School Bus, Sec. 149 Motor Vehicle Act of British Columbia, which carries with it a fine of $368. The ticket has been forwarded to Kitimat RCMP for service.

Be mindful of the laws surrounding the use of off road vehicles

On April 12 at 8:10 p.m. Columbia Valley RCMP was dispatched to an incident involving an unknown orange and white side-by-side with no visible licence plate driving up a pedestrian trail from the Radium saw mill site on the edge of the wetlands up to height of land to the east. The side-by-side became stuck and the camo-dressed male operator ended up tearing up the gravel.

The operator was confronted verbally by a Radium citizen. The male started swearing but took off back down the hill. There was a time delay of 15 to 20 minutes before the incident was reported to police and attendance. The side-by-side had left, returned, became stuck momentarily again the second time, then headed back down to the area of the saw mill. The side-by-side appeared to have turned east onto Forester Landing Road towards Radium. Patrols were made and two other pedestrians were spoken with along with the complainant. However, in this instance the operator and or owner of the side-by-side were not identified.

All off road vehicles must be registered and insured under the Motor Vehicle All Terrain Act. This insurance is for crossing main roads and or use of gazetted forest service roads. The RCMP can provide a permit, which is free, however in most cases locally this is provided to businesses and ranches that have land that they need to access due to livestock or maintenance.

Some communities in British Columbia do have bylaws in place that provide limited access to trail networks as long as the vehicle is registered and insured and the driver complies to the conditions of the permit and possesses a valid driver`s licence.

The Village of Radium Hot Springs does not have these bylaws and the only way one can legally get their off road vehicle to a forest service road is by trailering. Pedestrian trails are for pedestrians only and in this instance this trail was not for off road vehicle use, please be mindful of the laws surrounding the use of off road vehicles.

Stay Safe, I will be one of the first to celebrate spring when it is here.

Cpl. Brent Ayers is Acting Detachment Commander of the Columbia Valley RCMP Detachment

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