The Victoria Electric Vehicle Association is apologizing after commuters mistook its member, who was doing an EV count, for a person in distress on the Helmcken Road pedestrian overpass.
On Wednesday morning, the association conducted its second annual spring count of electric vehicles, which required its member to count every EV cruising into and out of town via the Trans-Canada Highway.
But when the vehicle counter was mistaken for someone attempting to jump the railing, it caused temporary traffic delays on either side of the highway and the overpass, according to one Facebook post.
“Presumably, jumper on the Helmeken overpass,” stated the post to the Facebook group Vancouver Island Breaking News & Info, which prompted a flood of comments.
“Heartbreaking,” wrote one person. “So sad,” added another.
Police were called to the scene, but West Shore RCMP Cst. Meghan Groulx confirmed that it was, in fact, the EV Association member on the job, and that there was no need for public concern.
The count took place between 6:30 and 9 a.m., and according to the Victoria EV Association, 1,728 electric vehicles were recorded.
That represents approximately 18% of the EVs registered in the capital region and is a 70% increase of EVs commuting over last year’s 1,023 vehicles, the association said.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433. You can also visit them online.