RCMP officers stop vehicles at one of the COVID-19 essential travel stops on highways into B.C.’s Lower Mainland. (B.C. RCMP photo)

RCMP officers stop vehicles at one of the COVID-19 essential travel stops on highways into B.C.’s Lower Mainland. (B.C. RCMP photo)

B.C. RCMP stepping up COVID-19 road checks for long weekend

30 drivers voluntarily turned around last weekend

B.C. RCMP say they are stepping up enforcement at COVID-19 highway check points during the Victoria Day long weekend, after traffic picked up in the second week of enforcement for public health orders restricting travel to essential only between the Lower Mainland, Interior and Vancouver Island.

After a quiet first weekend with 1,412 vehicles checked and one driver who voluntarily turned around, from May 14 and 16 there were 2,069 vehicles checks and 30 drivers voluntarily turned around at the four highway road check points between the three regions. The travel restriction is in place until at least May 25.

“While the public has been supportive of our officers at the checks, we know that more people are typically on our roads and highways during long weekends,” said Supt. Holly Turton, officer in charge of the B.C. Highway Patrol. “We would like all travellers to know that we will be increasing the number and duration of the road checks leading up to, and through this long weekend.”

RCMP road checks will remain at the four locations established when enforcement of the non-essential travel ban began in early May. They are on Highway 1 near Boston Bar, Highway 3 near Manning Park, Highway 5 at the former Coquihalla toll booth location, and Highway 99 in the Lillooet area. Delta Police and West Vancouver Police are also monitoring traffic heading for the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay ferry terminals, where B.C. Ferries staff are declining service to people who don’t provide an essential reason for travel.

The public health orders give a list of essential reasons for travel, including moving, work, school and child care, and provides for a fine of $575 for non-essential travel between the regions.

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