SURREY, B.C. -- The officer in charge of BC RCMP Traffic Services says there has been a significant drop in traffic volume during COVID-19 restrictions but officers have reported an increase in the number of excessive speeding violations over that time.

As a result, Supt. Holly Turton says she is directing all officers in the traffic division to return to pre-COVID-19 enforcement levels for dangerous driving infractions, including excessive speed, distracted driving and racing or stunt driving.

"With the reduced traffic volume, people think that there’s more space to drive faster but they are putting themselves and other people at risk," Turton said.

According to the RCMP, an average of 114 people in B.C. die annually in crashes involving high-risk driving, and long weekends have often been particularly deadly.

With this year’s May long weekend occurring as the province advises against non-essential travel in the hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus, Turton would like to see fewer serious incidents on highways.

"We’re certainly hopeful that we will see fewer serious injury and fatal collisions," she said. "But part of the reason I am here today is to encourage people to drive prudently so we do experience that."