Kelowna drivers behaving badly

Kelowna has its fair share of summer policing issues but some members of the Central Okanagan Traffic Services are ringing alarm bells over dangerous driving.

During a few hours in a single shift last week, a traffic cop caught no less than seven motorists for excessive speed (40km/h or more above the limit). If 95km/h in a construction zone, or 164km/h on the highway doesn’t sound bad enough, how about 141km/h through downtown West Kelowna.

“Although the 164 is obviously the highest speed, 141km/h through downtown West Kelowna is absolutely absurd,” says Const. Sheldon Herman of COTS.

Such speeds are extremely dangerous and a major factor in the severity of injuries seen when resulting in a crash.

"With so many serious and fatal collisions of late and the countless pleas to the public to slow down and use caution it is apparent that some drivers are still not getting the message," said Herman.

"With so many extra vehicles and motorcycles on the roadway and a large increase of pedestrians and tourists visiting our towns it is absolutely essential that people slow down and drive safe so we can prevent any further tragedies; however for those people who still believe they are invincible and that nothing will happen to them, RCMP officers will be out in force throughout the summer issuing violation tickets and vehicle impounds to those that deserve them."

Fines for excessive speed range from $368 to $483 and include a mandatory seven day vehicle impound. Police may also request an increase in penalty and vehicle impound should the circumstances deem it necessary, such as with street racing where an immediate 15 day driving prohibition can be requested roadside from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.

More summertime driving problems:

Jeeps with no doors: It is illegal to drive a vehicle without doors if it came equipped with them and comes with an immediate order to remove vehicle from the roadway and $109 fine. Removing Jeep doors is dangerous and puts everyone in the vehicle at risk if the vehicle is in a collision.

License plate covers: The tinted and clear license plate covers that people buy to bolt on for “Protection” are illegal and come with a Notice and Order to remove them and a $196 fine. The covers, although sold everywhere, are designed for one thing and that is to avoid cameras and prevent people/cameras from seeing the license plate clearly.

Tinted windows: Any window from the driver forward must not have ANY window tint. Anything from behind the driver’s shoulders can. Drivers may receive a Notice and Order to remove the tint and $109 fine.

Tinted tail/head lights: You cannot tint or darken your headlights or taillights. If involved in a collision, you can be found at fault by ICBC for not having appropriate lighting.  Drivers may receive a Notice and Order to remove the tint and $109 fine.

Seatbelts: If your vehicle came with seatbelts then you must wear your seatbelt. You cannot remove your seatbelt to drive without one. This is an immediate removal of the vehicle from the roadway and $167 dollar fine and possibly an additional $109 fine.

Bike Racks/Trailer Hitches: If you are transporting bicycles or have a trailer hitch installed, make sure you can still see the license plate. Drivers may receive a $196 fine.

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