Several drivers were without their vehicles for a significant amount of time — some for excessive speeding and others for driving under the influence.
A recent night shift by Coquitlam RCMP traffic officers resulted in five vehicles impounded within a four-hour span for the offences, as well as hefty fines and points against their licences.
The incidents are serving as a reminder to local commuters to follow the rules of the road and to think safety for all, especially during the Thanksgiving long weekend.
According to ICBC, on average, 420 people are injured in 1,200 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend each year in the Lower Mainland.
This accounts for data collected from collisions reported between 2017 and 2021 — 6 p.m. on the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday.
"Coquitlam RCMP is reminding the public to put safety first when driving on our roads," said spokesperson Cpl. Alexa Hodgins in a statement to the Tri-City News.
"This is to maintain your safety and others whom you share the road with."
Busy night shift
The five vehicles were taken off the road across Coquitlam RCMP's jurisdiction while officers were on patrol the night of Oct. 2 and into the early hours of Oct. 3.
The first two were seen excessively speeding along Lougheed Highway (7) near its intersection with Schoolhouse Street just around 11:50 p.m.
Hodgins said this resulted in a seven-day impoundment of the vehicles as they were both going at least 40 km/h above the posted speed limit. The fine is between $368 and $483 for excessive speeding, according to the BC Motor Vehicle Act (MVA).
Nearly 20 minutes later, Coquitlam cops were called to reports of a suspected impaired driver.
Details are limited, as of this publication, as it's still an active investigation.
At 2:05 a.m., a third speeding vehicle was found on Highway 1 through Coquitlam, and was also impounded for seven days after breaching the speed limit by 40 km/h or more.
And just before 3:30 a.m., an impaired driver was found operating their vehicle without their lights on along Lougheed Highway near Orchid Drive.
The fine for impaired driving in B.C. is as low as $600, but could also result in jail time.
Tips for drivers
ICBC has provided the following tips for commuters prior to the Thanksgiving weekend:
- Beware of unpredictable weather
- If you'll be travelling, snow, sleet, rain, hail, ice and fog are just some of the challenging fall conditions you should be prepared for on B.C. roads. Check Drive BC for road and weather conditions before your trip.
- Put on winter tires
- As of Oct. 1, vehicles must have winter tires on many B.C. highways including parts of Vancouver Island, Highway 99 to Whistler, and most highways in the Southern Interior and northern B.C.
- Prepare your vehicle
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition, headlights and taillights are in working order, and keep wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility. It's also important to prepare for the unexpected by keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle with items like warm clothing, food, water, blankets and more.
- Take caution with wildlife
- Watch for wildlife warning signs — they're posted where animals are most likely to be on the road. Be very alert at dusk or dawn when animals are most likely to be on the road. If you see wildlife on or near the road, slow down and use caution so you have time to react if needed.
- Drive to the conditions
- When driving on snow, ice, slush or in rain or fog, slow down. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet or slippery roads.
- Keep you mind and eyes on the road
- Distracted driving is a top contributing factor in crashes this long weekend. Program your GPS before you head out for your trip and leave your phone alone.