British Columbia

RCMP to set up roadside checkpoints on 4 highways in B.C. this weekend

B.C. RCMP will introduce their first road checks this weekend as part of the province's push to stop non-essential travel.  

Police say signs will alert travelers to upcoming road checks, safe U-turn routes will be provided

Motorists travel on the Sea-to-Sky highway between Horseshoe Bay and Lions Bay, B.C., in April. B.C. announced a ban on non-essential travel last month to curb surging case numbers. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

B.C. RCMP will introduce their first road checks this weekend as part of the province's push to stop non-essential travel.

Mounties said the checkpoints will be set up Thursday on four highways connecting southwest B.C., including Whistler, with the rest of the province. 

The check stops 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
  • Highway 99 in the Lillooet area
Mounties said the checkpoints will be set up Thursday on four highways connecting southwest B.C. with the rest of the province. (CBC News)

B.C. announced a ban on non-essential travel in April to curb surging case numbers.

The ban rules out travel between the province's three designated travel regions: the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley; Vancouver Island; and the Northern and Interior areas. 

The travel zones are roughly based on the province's health regions, which have been combined in two cases to form larger regions: Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health;  Northern Health and Interior Heath.

The restrictions are in effect until at least May 25, the end of the long weekend. 

A portion of the Vancouver Coastal Health region north of the Sunshine Coast, including Bella Coola, will be considered part of the combined Northern and Interior regions, as will the District of Hope and the Central Coast. (CBC News)

Violators subject to $575 fine

Police said signs will alert travelers of upcoming road checks and those traveling for essential reasons should expect traffic delays.

Safe U-turn routes will also be prepared for drivers who decide their travel isn't essential and want to avoid the road checks. 

Commercial vehicles won't be subject to road checks, police said.

At the road checks, police will ask for identification from drivers and documentation that shows the driver's name and address. Officers will ask drivers to explain the purpose of their travel. 

Police will direct a driver to leave the region if the driver is found to be travelling for non-essential reasons. Those who refuse to leave may be subject to a $575, police said.

Alberta border

As part of the travel restrictions, the province said it will also erect new border signs along the B.C.-Alberta border, reminding people to stay within their own province if travel isn't essential.

There will be no checkpoints at the provincial border, RCMP said.

"There are currently no restrictions in place that prohibit travellers from driving into B.C. from Alberta," a spokesperson said.

"If a person is traveling into the province from Alberta, they would be required to remain in one health region unless they are traveling for essential reasons."

B.C. residents can't book accommodations or camping sites outside their zone.

Operators will cancel any bookings that have already been made and B.C. Parks will refund anyone with a provincial camping site reservation outside of their zone.

BC Ferries has also stopped accepting bookings for recreational vehicles such as campers and trailers.

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