Another quiet New Year’s for RCMP 

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They were eventually found by a backcountry skier named Darren Routley who guided them to safety along Singing Pass Trail. They made it out at 4:45 p.m. at the bottom of Whistler.

LeClair added the incident had nothing to do with the Symphony Express chair being closed that day.


No more driving and texting

Attention drivers: it is now against the law to use a cell phone while driving, unless it's a hands-free device.

Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair reminded people that as of Jan. 1, 2010, drivers cannot send or read text messages or e-mails, cannot make or receive calls unless using a hands-free device and cannot hold or operate any electronic devices.

Learners and novice drivers cannot operate cell phones at all, even if they are hands-free.

During January, RCMP officers will issue warnings to drivers caught using cell phones or other hand held electronic devices, said LeClair. Beginning in February, officers will be issuing tickets worth $167 and three penalty points.

"This month certainly is an adjustment period but after that people can expect to be issued a violation ticket if they are caught committing the offense," said LeClair, who now has a hands-free cell phone device with voice activation.

He added that even with the one-month grace period, he thinks people will abide by the new laws.

"Friends of mine are complying, and people I know from all walks of life in Whistler are well aware of the penalties and the implications," he said.


RCMP crack down on impaired drivers

RCMP officers are recommending charging two people with impaired operation of motor vehicles and refusing to provide breath samples, following two separate incidents on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said at 1:16 a.m. a Whistler police officer making routine patrols saw a vehicle drive through a stop sign. The officer stopped the vehicle and gave the driver an alcohol-screening device, which resulted in a fail. The 46-year-old Washington state female then refused to provide breath samples.

Later that morning, at 1:23, an officer in Pemberton saw a vehicle depart from a hotel and make several driving infractions including fish tailing, failing to stop at a stop sign and failing to signal.

The officer stopped the vehicle, and the 30-year-old Pemberton male driver agreed to provide a breath sample. However, after eight attempts, the driver still was not able to provide a sample.

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