Wednesday, February 28, 2024

VicPD warn of traffic disruptions ahead of Saturday’s anti-mandate protest

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More traffic disruptions are likely on the way to downtown Victoria.

With another “Freedom Convoy” set to roll through town this Saturday, police warn drivers to brace for delays behind the wheel.

After several weekends in a row, anti-mandate protestors are expected to gather out front of BC’s Legislature—many coming from other provinces to attend, according to recent social media posts.

In a Friday statement, VicPD said CCTV cameras would be deployed for public safety, as officers work to ensure “people’s rights to protest safely, peacefully and lawfully are upheld.”

“Dangerous or unlawful acts will be met with de-escalation and enforcement, including Criminal Code, Motor Vehicle Act and Municipal Bylaw investigations,” said the statement.

Last Saturday, police say officers issued 10 violation tickets and two orders for offences such as excessive noise and obstructing traffic, plus over 50 warnings for various infractions.

With this in mind, the City of Victoria is taking further aim at drivers who use air horns or unlawfully honk vehicle horns within city limits.

City council unanimously passed a motion Thursday, speeding up the ticketing process and allowing police to issue violators a $125 fine, reduced to $75 if paid within 30 days.

Officials say the sounding of car horns in the city, except in some limited circumstances—to warn pedestrians or other vehicles—goes against the Streets and Traffic Bylaw.

“We have heard and understand the concerns of James Bay residents during recent protest events and will continue to work to minimize disruptions in the area,” VicPD said.

They’re also putting out a reminder that the Victoria Inner Harbour and surrounding area is controlled airspace, meaning drones are prohibited under Transport Canada guidelines.

During Saturday’s protest, for crimes in progress or emergencies, VicPD urges people to call 911.

For non-emergency incidents, call (250) 995-7654. For non-emergency traffic incidents, VicPD points to its online reporting system.

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