Fraser Valley – BC Highway Patrol is urging caution to all motorists planning travel to or from the Lower Mainland area as some provincial highways are only open on a limited basis. This comes after the major weather system that saw several major highways closed due to washouts and mudslides and the flooding of the Sumas Prairie that resulted in the closure of Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
British Columbia is in a State of Emergency and the Province of BC has implemented travel restrictions on those affected provincial highways which are re-opening with limitations and restrictions. BC Highway Patrol is urging all motorists to heed these travel restrictions and avoid all non-essential travel. This allows emergency personnel, highways crews and essential goods and supplies to reach those most in need.
BC Highway Patrol advises that if you must travel into or out of the Lower Mainland area to do the following:
- Check DriveBC.ca to see if your planned route is passable (click link for latest);
- Expect long delays and expect winter driving conditions on all routes outside the LMD;
- Give yourself extra time;
- Ensure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition, including winter tires/chains;
- If possible, fill your fuel tank, in accordance with the fuel purchase restrictions in place in the LMD (and Vancouver Island);
- Pack extra food and clothing in event you are delayed or weather turns bad;
- Ensure you have a charged cell phone and charger;
- Obey the direction of police and traffic control personnel; and
- Please do not call police regarding details of travel restrictions – go here instead.
During this period, only essential travel is recommended. Road checks are in place on all affected highways and you may be turned back if your travel is not essential. Under the provisions of the Emergency Program Act of BC, motorists who fail to comply with the travel restrictions, disobey the direction of a peace officer, fail to stop or provide information or are abusive/belligerent to a peace officer or traffic control official, may face fines starting at $230 per offence.
BC Highway Patrol will be visible on those highways most severely affected by the massive storm. “We urge everyone to only travel if it is essential,” says Chief Superintendent Holly Turton, Officer in Charge of BCHP. “If we all work together, it will serve to get supplies to those in urgent need and allow the rebuilding of our important highway network. Please be safe and follow the direction of police officers and traffic control personnel who are doing their job to keep all motorists safe.”