There was a 118 per cent increase in traffic violation tickets for the first three months of 2023 according to Kelowna RCMP.
Traffic enforcement has been a priority of city council and Supt. Kara Triance has said it will be kept up throughout the rest of the year.
“Specifically on reducing serious injuries and fatal motor vehicle collisions,” she told council at its Monday (June 19) regular meeting. “Concentrating on speed, distracted driving, impaired driving and intersection enforcement.”
In presenting RCMP first quarter statistics, Triance said that 688 violation tickets were handed out between Jan. and March 2023 compared to the same period last year, with 34 per cent written up for distracted driving.
Triance told council that distracted driving is as dangerous as impaired driving.
“Impaired driving fluctuates with distracted driving as the number one cause of death.”
Triance added that the traffic enforcement team is fabout 90 per cent staffed, and with improved resourcing over last year, people can expect to see increased enforcement.
“We encourage everyone to put your devices down, slow down and remember that there are penalties for excessive speed and impaired driving that are significant.”
Coun. Luke Stack also asked to be kept informed about vehicle noise violations.
“I know we’re not going to solve this problem but I do think if there are some extreme examples it would be good if we hear about them.”
Triance said enforcement often comes through referral to an inspection facility.
“It costs the driver money to have the vehicle inspected, money to have it rectified,” she said.
The vehicle owner also must provide proof to RCMP the issue has been corrected.
Community Safety Director Darren Caul told council bylaw officers do not have the authority to deal with moving violations.
“That is an impediment as compared to other provinces around the enforcement of this. We go back to reliance on our finite police resources to be the frontline to deal with this.”