Nice weather no excuse to speed, West Kootenay RCMP say

Local traffic police are urging motorists to slow down after catching more than a dozen vehicles going at least 40 km/h over the limit.

RCMP Sgt. John Ferguson is urging drivers not to take the nice weather as a license to speed.

Local traffic police are urging motorists to resist the urge to speed in spring weather after catching more than a dozen vehicles in the last week going at least 40 km/h over the limit.

“We all are enjoying the early spring and the roads are very clean and clear, but this does not mean you should increase your speed,” said RCMP Sgt. John Ferguson, the officer in charge of West Kootenay Traffic Services. “We still have wildlife, bicyclists, pedestrians and tourists using our roads.”

Ferguson said police stopped and seized 13 vehicles for excessive speeding including one driver doing 145km/h in an 80 zone and another going 167 km/h in a 100 zone. Each vehicle was impounded for seven days. The incidents occurred in the morning, early afternoon, and evening, and in several locations, including betweenNelson and Castlegar, Castlegar and Trail, and on the Blueberry Paulson.

“It’s more than we usually see at this time of year,” Ferguson said, attributing it largely to the nice weather.Looking at the forecast, it’s not going to change dramatically, so we’re getting a little nervous. We haven’t even started tourist season.”

If you’re caught travelling more than 40 km/h over the posted limit, you can be charged with excessive speeding and fined $368 plus penalty points. If you’re more than 60 km/h over the limit, the fine goes up to $483. On top of the fine, your car will be seized for seven days, costing you a storage and tow bill. Cause a crash and,depending on the circumstances, you might also see higher insurance rates.

Ferguson said typical excuses include “I was trying to get someplace,” “I didn’t realize I was doing it” and “I just passed a slow moving vehicle.”

“We are out there watching and no tolerance will be allowed for excessive speed,” Ferguson said. “We want the Kootenay Boundary area to be the safest in the province [in terms of crashes and fatalities] and so far we are.”