Charla Huber/News staff With the RCMP’s Air 8 hovering behind

Police target dangerous drivers on the Malahat

Starting this week, and continuing on throughout the summer, drivers on the Malahat Drive will be under increased surveillance.

Starting this week, and continuing on throughout the summer, drivers on the Malahat Drive will be under increased surveillance.

Policing units from the south Island, including West Shore RCMP, kicked off the Making the Malahat Safer campaign on Wednesday.

“It’s our goal that no family has to have a policeman give them the gut-wrenching, life changing news that a loved one is never coming home again as a result of a crash on the Malahat,” said Staff Sgt. Frank Wright, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit.

RCMP and the IRSU are making themselves visible on the Malahat in hopes of targeting high consequence and high risk driving, such as drunk driving, speeding or using mobile devices behind the wheel.

“We are frustrated with what we can do as a community to get impairment off the road. It’s not the odd occasion (when crashes are caused by impairment), it results in a lot of serious crashes,” said Langford fire Chief Bob Beckett. “This isn’t about the road or an engineering aspect.”

In the past four years nearly 200 people have been injured and seven people have died on the Malahat Drive in car crashes.

While ramping up enforcement RCMP have several tools and actions they are taking to help make the 25-kilometre stretch of highway safer.

Check stops are being used to combat drinking and driving, the use of scopes will help identify drivers using mobile devices and not wearing seat belts, and licence plate readers will help identify prohibited drivers and unlicensed vehicles.

“If you are breaking the law, you will be charged,” said Const. Robert Figueiredo, of the CRD IRSU. “We want to reduce or eliminate crashes and deaths on our highways.”

With more police on the road, Figueiredo wants to remind all drivers when an emergency vehicle is in on the side of the road with its lights flashing, drivers “must reduce their speed and move over.”

Vancouver Island’s RCMP police helicopter, Air 8, is also being used to monitor unsafe driving practices such as tailgating, unsafe passing and aggressive driving. Once an offender is spotted, RCMP on the highway will be radioed the cars location and description.

“It will be the eye in the sky,” Figueiredo said.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Science fair draws best junior scientists from Vancouver Island to Victoria

200 young science enthusiasts share their inventions and discoveries at UVic

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

Vic. Symphony, Jeans ‘n Classics will rock you with the Best of Queen

Post-Bohemian Rhapsody, Pops Series concerts bring British band’s music back into spotlight

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Farm Whisperer tackles tough subject of farm succession

Linda Geggie is executive director with CR-FAIR

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read