COVID-19 enforcement: Zero tickets handed out at road checks during B.C.'s travel ban
VANCOUVER -- Police never ticketed anyone at the road checks set up to enforce B.C.'s temporary travel ban, which is being lifted on Tuesday.
B.C. first announced its travel ban, prohibiting locals from moving between three health regions, on April 23. The rules were meant to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and on June 15, that ban is being lifted.
Starting on May 6, the RCMP established regular road checks highway points between the health regions. Those included checks at Highway 1 near Boston Bar, Highway 3 near Manning Park, Highway 5 near Old Toll Booth and Highway 99 near Lillooet.
Between May 6 and June 12, Mounties say they checked 14,193 vehicles at those road blocks. Of those, 236 drivers voluntarily turned around. Another 26 were told by police they must turn around, but no tickets were issued, Mounties confirmed with CTV News Vancouver.
Drivers who refused to turn around could have been fined up to $575.
On Tuesday, B.C. is entering Step 2 of its restart plan, meaning recreational travel across the province will be permitted. With those restrictions lifting, Mounties in the province say it's not a "licence to disregard the rules of the road."
"We would like to remind all motorists to make smart decisions when it comes to driving," Supt. Holly Turton, officer in charge of BC Highway Patrol, in a news release Monday.
"Please obey the rules of the road for your safety and that of others. Our officers work hard to keep our highways safe, but we need people to drive with care so that we can make our highways safer together."
One ticket was issued for breaking the travel ban, but before May 6 and not at a road check. That ticket was given on May 1 on Vancouver Island after a driver was pulled over "for more than one driving offence."
A conversation with the driver, who was from North Vancouver, revealed that he was travelling for non-essential purposes, Cpl. Mike Halskov told CTV News Vancouver after the ticket was issued.
“The officer issued a ticket under the Emergency Program Act and directed the driver to return to the Lower Mainland immediately. The driver was also issued tickets for the driving offences,” Halskov said.
RCMP's E Division confirmed with CTV News Vancouver that no other tickets were issued outside of road checks.