RCMP ask drivers to slow down; report on New Year’s

Drivers are cautioned to slow down in snowy conditions; an elderly man has passed away from a New Year's Eve injury

Kelowna RCMP are asking drivers to slow down and drive according to the snowy conditions.

“Slow down and drive safe, our roadways may be slippery due to the weather conditions,” Constable Jesse O’Donaghey said.  “Avoid sudden starts and stops, abrupt lane changes or turns during icy conditions.  Doing so can cause you to end up in the ditch.”

O’Donaghey added drivers should ensure they have proper winter tires for their trip, particularly if they are planning to drive on a highway that requires winter tires.  If proper tires aren’t equipped on those highways, such as the Coquihalla, police can ticket the driver $109 and force them to turn back.

RCMP also report a 78 year-old man from Kelowna succumbed to injuries he sustained on New Year’s Eve, when he was struck by a car near the intersection of Springfield Road and Dayton Street around 5:15 pm. The man had been crossing Springfield Road when he was struck by an eastbound car.

“The driver, a 21 year-old Lake Country man, remained at the scene and is co-operating with police,” Constable O’Donaghey explained.  “Police have ruled out alcohol as a contributing factor and strongly believe that speed was also not a factor.”

Police determined the pedestrian was dressed in dark clothing and did not appear to be in a marked crosswalk.  RCMP are continuing to investigate, and are looking for further witnesses to the incident.

Aside from the saddening accident, O’Donaghey said New Year’s was fairly reasonable in Kelowna.  He noted there were just shy of 60 police files from the night, with nothing of significance other than the collision.

As for New Year’s celebrations themselves, the fourth annual New York New Year’s, hosted by Festivals Kelowna at Stuart Park, was a resounding success.  Festivals Kelowna estimated there were easily over 6,000 people in attendance, and based on conversations and feedback it was received very well.