B.C. RCMP officers are stationed at four locations as of Thursday (May 6), operating road checks meant to enforce pandemic-related travel restrictions in the province.
The RCMP said that checks are located on Highway 1 in the Boston Bar area, on Highway 3 in the Manning Park area, on Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway) in the area of the former toll booth near the summit and on Highway 99 in the Lillooet area.
The province has broken B.C. up into three travel zones: Vancouver Island, Interior/Northern Health and Vancouver Coastal/Fraser Health. Hope is included in the Interior/North zone, although residents can go to Chilliwack for essentials. Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions at a road check or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order
Earlier, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said West Vancouver and Delta police departments would staff road checks at ferry terminals, while the RCMP would control road checks on highways between the regions. There are no road checks planned for the Alberta-B.C. border, although the province said signs will be put up.
“At the road check locations, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address and the purpose for the driver’s travel,” the RCMP said. “If an officer determines that a person is travelling for non-essential reasons, they will be directed to leave the region. Those refusing to do so may face fines under the Emergency Program Act.”
People travelling for essential reasons should expect delays, while commercial vehicles will not be checked.
The province has said the road checks will be well advertised, both on social media and with signs far enough ahead to allow drivers to turn around. The travel restrictions are in place until at least after the May long weekend.
Essential travel reasons:
Returning to your principal residence, moving or helping someone move
Work, both paid and unpaid (volunteer)
Commercial transportation of goods
Getting health care or social services or helping someone get those services
Court appearance, complying with a court order or parole check-in
Exercising parental responsibilities (including spending time as a parent with a minor child)
Accessing child care services
Attending classes at a post-secondary institution or school
Responding to emergencies or a critical incident, like search and rescue operations
Providing care to a person because of a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or a physical, cognitive or mental impairment
Visiting a resident as an essential or social visitor at long-term care or assisted living facility
Fleeing the risk of abuse or violence
Attending a funeral
Travelling under a PHO variance. For example, BCHL
Local residents travelling into or out of the Nisga’a Health Authority region from the Northern/Interior travel region