Prince Rupert RCMP will be increasing traffic-related regulations including the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) in consultation with the Lax Kw’alaams mayor and band council, the RCMP announced on Oct. 4.
The move toward compliance and safety comes just weeks after two men were killed in a motor vehicle collision in the village.
“Owners and drivers need to have their motor vehicles in good mechanical condition including tires, hold and carry valid insurance and a valid driver’s licence, abide by the rules of the road and remain sober when operating their vehicles,” said Const. Gabriel Gravel, media relations officer for the Prince Rupert detachment.
“The goal is to promote road safety in the community and for everyone to do their part,” he said.
Many First Nations communities do not fall under the jurisdiction of the MVA, the officer said. However, in 2017 at the request of the band council, the MVA became applicable in the coastal community. An educational pathway, with many, many warnings has been in application since then, Gravel said.
Residents can now expect more traffic stops and check stops conducted by police with violation tickets, notices, orders and other enforcement measures being used for non-compliant motorists. When applicable, vehicles can also be seized and towed to a secured facility in Prince Rupert at the owners’ expense.
On Sept. 21, just after 9:30 p.m. the RCMP received a call from the health clinic in Lax Kw’alaams regarding a single vehicle which is believed to have lost control and crashed into a rock face on Tuck Road 10 km past the community.
The road bridges the ferry dock into the community and is dark at night, winding and not at all a straight highway, Gravel said. It is not the first incident at night involving suspected speed and alcohol.
The 37-year-old male driver died at the scene, and the 27-year-old male passenger died en route to the hospital.
“RCMP would like to remind people to always buckle up,” Gravel said.
An RCMP press release was not issued at the time of the deaths to allow families respect and privacy to grieve, the RCMP stated.
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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