Here's where police in B.C. are enforcing road checks this weekend

Road checks this weekend

Heading out on a road trip this weekend?

If so, there's a good chance you'll find yourself stopped by the BC RCMP at one of several road checks that have popped up throughout the province. Intended to deter British Columbians from making any non-essential trips to other regions, the COVID-19 Travel Restriction Road Checks were first established in a series of locations on Thursday, May 6, following an announcement from B.C. Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth last month.

The provincial ban on travel—and the road checks enforcing it— strive to curb the spread of COVID-19 by limiting travel between three main regions: The Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and Northern/Interior B.C.

This weekend, COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Road Checks will be located at Highway 1 in the Boston Bar area, Highway 3 in the Manning Park area, Highway 5 in the Old Toll Booth area and Highway 99 in the Lillooet area.

According to RCMP, the road checks on Highway 1 and Highway 5 will be in place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

People who contravene the order restricting non-essential travel could be saddled with a $575 fine, while failure to comply with the requirements of a road check may result in a $230 fine, as is the case at anytime.

Drivers passing through a road check must be prepared to provide identification, documentation confirming their name and address, and a reason for travel.

If police determine that a person is travelling for non-essential reasons, the driver will be directed to leave the region. Those refusing to do so may face the above-mentioned fines, in accordance with B.C.'s Emergency Program Act.

Motorists who are travelling through those areas for an essential reason can expect traffic delays, police warned.

Signage has been posted to inform travellers about upcoming road check locations, while safe u-turn routes have also been provided "should motorists determine that their travel is not essential and wish to avoid the road check," RCMP explained.

Commercial vehicles are subject to COVID-19 travel restriction road checks.

Last weekend, BC RCMP officers stopped over 1,400 vehicles at road checks, but issued zero fines. However, two people who were travelling for nonessential purposes voluntarily turned around after police pulled them over.

"Unless you are essentially refusing to turn back, it's very unlikely that you will be issued a fine," explained BC RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Janelle Shoihet. "We are giving people the opportunity to voluntarily abide by the restrictions."

– with files from Elana Shepert

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