A quarterly report to Sicamous’ council from the local RCMP detachment shows the roads in the Sicamous area were safer over the last three months of 2018 than they were the previous year.
In the last quarter, which spanned October to December 2018, the Sicamous’ detachment’s goal was 12 traffic tickets or warnings given per officer.
Sgt. Murray McNeil reported that approximately 10 traffic stats per officer were achieved, reflecting the slower speeds and lower traffic volumes during the winter months.
Forty-nine tickets or warnings were issued in October, 44 were issued in November and 45 in December. Twenty-five of the October tickets or warnings were issued within the District of Sicamous, 18 were in November and 14 in December.
Four vehicle collisions in the area policed by the Sicamous detachment over the last quarter resulted in injuries: One on Oct. 17 near the Trans-Canada Highway and Gill Avenue intersection, a Dec. 7 snowmobile collision on the Owlhead Forest Service Road, a single vehicle hitting the ditch on the Trans-Canada Highway near Bernie road and a collision involving a jackknifed semi and a car on the highway five kilometres east of Sicamous.
Vehicle collisions which did not result in injury fell from 22 to 11 compared to the same time last year.
The report states that favourable weather was a factor in the reduced number of collisions.
McNeil said a less snowy winter has led to better conditions on the roads, but the reduction in collisions could also be due to more drivers using winter tires and driving to road conditions.
Six impaired drivers were charged after being caught by the Sicamous RCMP in the last quarter, this is half as many as the quarter before.
Along with policing the icy roads McNeil and his officers also perform safety checks at local snowmobile trailheads; they have received $6,000 of provincial funds to cover overtime associated with winter policing.
McNeil said his officers check to see if sledders have the necessary safety equipment and licence plates.
According to McNeil,a friendly warning is often the extent of enforcement for out-of-province sledders who were unaware they need to license their machines to ride them in B.C. Officers also check the sobriety of those heading out on their sleds, but McNeil said this has not been an issue.
Overall calls for service remained stable compared to the same time frame of the previous year, with 395 in 2018 and 390 in 2017. A few noteworthy changes in the nature of the calls included the number of theft calls falling from 11 to seven and impaired driving incidents falling from 12 to six. Reports of assault fell from eight to four compared to the third quarter of last year. McNeil said charges were approved in three of those cases.
Nineteen cases worked on by the Sicamous detachment over the last quarter resulted in charges being laid. Charges included breach of probation, impaired driving, robbery, sexual assault, mischief, fraud, possession of stolen property and assault.
After having a constable on light duty due to injury, the Sicamous detachment is back to full strength as of January 2019. There are four constables, a corporal supervisor, a sergeant and a reserve constable