Letter: Day in the life of a traffic police officer

To the editor:

Re: Letter to the editor: Police Nab Yard Workers at Landfill Bottleneck (July 18 Capital News)

The anonymous writer of this letter needs to be educated on what a traffic police officer’s day entails.

I am the first police officer that drove up to assist a co-worker who had a truck and dump trailer stopped on an exit lane from the dump. Just so you know, my police emergency lights were on but no siren was on or in use during this whole incident by any police vehicle.

The driver of the truck pulling the trailer was initially stopped to advise him his lights to the trailer were not working. The investigating officer, while speaking with this driver, noticed the smell of liquor on his breath. As well it was determined he did not have a valid driver’s licence.

The driver became argumentative and verbally abusive with police causing a disturbance and was subsequently arrested. His vehicle was impounded for 30 days and his licence was immediately suspended for 90 days as per British Columbia’s Immediate Roadside Prohibition. Several empty bottles of beer and two freshly opened ones were found in the truck.

As for what the Kelowna Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) members are doing at the dump; we are enforcing and educating the motoring public about the Motor Vehicle Act and Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.

A very high percentage of drivers driving to the dump do not have their loads secure. If they have a trailer with break-away device, they do not know how to test it to ensure the brakes are in fact working. Many of these trailer brakes are not working, or trailers with a commercial licence plate have expired safety inspections.

We also deal with expired insurance and drivers licences, prohibited drivers, numerous other offences including drivers who are impaired by prescription drugs, illegal drugs and/or alcohol.

IRSU members also work in conjunction with Inspectors from the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement Unit targeting all vehicles on the roadway including commercial transport vehicles.

And lastly, to the anonymous writer and other drivers who think the police and vehicle inspectors should do something better with our time, they should perhaps take a moment to think twice before stating such an uneducated comment. We can put our heads on our pillows and go to sleep knowing we may have saved your child, spouse, parent, brother, sister or any other family member or friend including my own from an unsafe vehicle, trailer, commercial vehicle or impaired driver. We are making the highways safer for everyone.

If this bothers you, all I can say is try and put yourself in our shoes when we have to attend motor vehicle incidents where someone is killed or seriously injured and have to notify the family. If I can prevent this by enforcement and education at the dump or numerous other areas we work at, I will do so, and will continue to do so.

Const. A. Clack,

Kelowna RCMP

Integrated Road Safety Unit



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