The Revelstoke RCMP are tired of responding to fatal accidents on Highway 1 and are asking for more officers in order to do more preventative activities.
City council is supporting the RCMP’s request for additional provincially paid police officers as well as photo radar for the Trans Canada Highway in the Revelstoke area, through a resolution to the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
Mayor Gary Sulz, who is also the director of the funeral home, got emotional while speaking to the motion at the Feb. 25 council meeting and said he would see the resolution brought before the Union of BC Municipalities as well.
According to Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky, in the last 10 years the average number of vehicles on the Trans Canada Highway in the Revelstoke area has increased from 5,000 to 7,000. In July and August those numbers can go up to 13,000.
Congestion leads to road rage, erratic and dangerous driving which leads to collisions and fatalities he said, though, the biggest issue is speed: higher speeds creates more disastrous collisions.
“We want to keep people safe,” Grabinsky said.
People slow down when they see police cars on the roads. Photo radar and the associated signage will also make people slow down, he said.
Grabinsky also pointed that less accidents means less highway closures which is good for tourism and in turn, the economy.
“The police officers here are tired of going to collisions and fatalities and we need to seek means to make this a safe community so that people can go to where they need to go when they want to go there,” he said passionately.
The association’s annual general meeting and convention is coming April 28 to May 1. Communities across the region can submit resolutions for discussion and consideration at the convention. UBCM is Sept. 21 to 25 in Victoria.
The motion reads:
“Whereas the Trans-Canada Highway 1, from the Alberta/British Columbia provincial border through Revelstoke has surpassed its capacity due to increasing tourism and commercial transportation, resulting in frequent collisions, and the transportation route closures impeding commerce in the area.
“Whereas there has been little or no increase in Provincial Police resourcing for communities along the Trans-Canada Highway to effectively reduce speeds beyond posted limits and ultimately improve road safety by reducing collisions.
“therefore be it resolved the Province commit extra resourcing towards additional Provincial Police Officers posted to the effected municipalities and the deployment of safety control measures, such as photo radar, in the transportation corridor.”