(up to October 27, 2006)

Hello neighbor and welcome back to the Blotter and what a week its been here in the Ridge.

Knock, knock. Who?s there?

Dishes. Dishes who?

Dishes your brother, open the door! (Please laugh here.)

Knock, knock. Who?s there?

Police! Police who?

Police let us in, it?s cold out here. (Groan here.)

Knock, knock. Who?s there?

Omelette. Omelette who?

Omelette smarter than I look! (Try saying this with a cowboy accent, it?s waaay funnier.)

OK, OK, let?s get to work and see who or what?s been shakin? this past week.

Over the past year, the local detachment has made traffic a priority. With this priority there has come a marked increase in the number of traffic tickets issued and an increase in the number of impaired drivers detected and charged. This last week has been no exception. A male from Prince George was reported to the police as possibly impaired. As the officer attempted to pull over the vehicle on Highway 52, the vehicle accelerated and caused a pursuit. The pursuit lasted for only a few kilometers, however speeds well over the posted limit were obtained. The driver subsequently pulled over, and big surprise, he was impaired. Not only is he being charged for impaired driving, he is being charged with refusing to provide a breath sample. As a bonus, he was charged with causing a police pursuit. The truck went bye bye for 30 days to the impound lot. The guy?s license went bye bye for 90 days on an immediate suspension, and hopefully the judge will say ?bye bye? when he attends court.

This next tidbit is for lovers of numbers. Is the Pine Beetle in town? You bet. That little beast is doing quite a number on the trees, and is soon to be doing a number on the roads. Here?s how: For every one million cubic meters of logs that are allowed to be harvested, this requires 22,000 logging truck loads. Do you know how many million cubic meters of logs has already been designated to be cut in Northern BC? 400 Million cubic meters. This equates to 8.8 million loads of logs coming out of the bush in the next several years. Don?t forget to add 8.8 million trips for the logging trucks to go into the bush to pick up the logs. The pressure on the highways will be incredible in the next few years. I just called the Forestry and they stated that if the dead and dying trees are taken into account, it will be significant. I?m guessing a bazillion loads or so. So what? This means that all levels of government will have to coordinate their efforts to ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure to support such activity. Indubitably (I?ve been dying to use that word for a while) that means that I will have to ensure that our services will be able to meet the challenge. This includes additional officers, adequate office space, more vehicles and the like. Once I figure out what I need, I will be asking various levels of government for support.

A report of a stolen vehicle was received by the local detachment. The vehicle had been loaned to a friend, however the friend and the truck failed to return at the appointed time. The investigation took about two seconds to locate the vehicle, as it was in the impound lot. The ?Friend? was prohibited from driving and was caught behind the wheel shortly after he borrowed the truck. The law states that a person caught driving while prohibited will have the vehicle that they?re driving impounded for a minium of thirty days. What if the vehicle does not belong to them? Too bad, so sad. It is up to the owner to ensure that whoever is operating their vehicle is properly licensed. The registered owner is also responsible for all costs associated with the impoundment. By the way, the costs are about $100 for the tow, and $15 a day for storage fees.

A report was received about two people operating an ATV on a public road. The two were located and the driver was given a $115 ticket for the infraction. The ATV issue has received a lot of attention lately, and this was a topic of discussion at the recent RCMP Community Meeting. I will be looking into this matter a little further. Once I get all of the information together, there will be a meeting of interested parties to see how to resolve a few outstanding issues.

Look out! There are a bunch of dumb deer on the road. Just ask the guy who swerved to miss one and ended up in crashed into a tree. Lots of damage to his truck, and a lot of ?blue? air. Every week we get two or three reports of animal collisions. I did some looking around and found some sobering facts regarding this issue. In a typical year, three people are killed in collisions with animals and 372 people are injured. There are about 4,300 animals recorded as killed and about 13,000 animals are hit and then move away from the road to die. ICBC receives about 9,000 claims for damage from animal hits and pays out $23 million. As our population continues to grow, our highway networks expand further into wildlife habitat. The cost, wether it be in animal lives, human injuries or death and property damage will only increase. Deer account for 80% of all collisions with vehicles. Do you wanna know why? Huh, do ya? It?s because they are ?social? animals, party animals if you will. Moose and Elk are solitary animals and are typically found by themselves. Deer, on the other hand, are typically found in groups, and when the group is on the roadway, it?s hard to miss them all. When you encounter a deer on the highway, you should immediately be looking for another one. Scan the road, check the ditch, look in the tall grass but most of all, slow down.

We?ll talk again next week the Good Lord willing.

Keep it between the ditches.

Cpl. Kurt Peats