road patrol 

Public told to expect RCMP roadblocks throughout the year Whistler RCMP will be playing their part in a continuing series of police CounterAttack check-stops throughout the Whistler corridor, according to Constable Warren Tomalty. Tomalty said a rotating series of roadblocks were set up by the RCMP over the weekend, yielding five 24-hour licence suspensions and a variety of vehicle-related charges. Five officers stopped approximately 4,000 vehicles on Highway 99 between 6 p.m. and midnight one evening, resulting in three charges for driving without a licence and two charges of driving without proof of insurance. Officers will typically move between two or three locations in the community during every evening of blockades. Drivers can expect to continue to see the random roadblocks at various locations for the rest of the year, and are asked for their co-operation when officers appear on the road. Tomalty said drivers should keep their eye on the posted speed limits and be especially careful when approaching the roadblocks. "People have got to get used to seeing us out there," he said. "Someone almost hit one of our members at the blockade this weekend. We'd appreciate it if people stay straight when they approach us and be prepared to stop if they see an officer on the road." Tomalty said that in addition to checking for drinking and driving, the blockades have also been designed to conduct random checks for licences and insurance. With the continued boom in traffic on Highway 99, Tomalty said the police are also asking for some assistance from commercial carriers and truck drivers who may impede the movement of regular passenger vehicles when trying to manoeuvre their trucks up the area's hilly sections. "We've received a number of complaints from motorists after big truck drivers refused to pull over and were blocking traffic, leaving long lines of drivers behind them," he said. "There's nothing worse than a long line of cars... and when people do get an opportunity to pass, they pass at a high rate of speed." Tomalty said the problem is particularly compounded by narrow and winding roads with few passing lanes, and said the practice can easily be a contributing factor in accidents on busy roads. Commercial drivers can also be issued tickets and charged with impeding traffic. This weekend's traffic was also a challenge for officers conducting speed patrols on Highway 99, Tomalty said. In many instances, traffic was so heavy on the highway that even the police were unable to find a safe spot to turn around and pursue speeders or other violations. Tomalty said officers noticed a large number of drivers following others too close for safety or driving in sightseeing mode, and suggests that people take more care on the road.

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