Each August long holiday weekend the resort town of Tulameen B.C. mushrooms from a population of 250 to more than 3,000 people.
And while the annual Tulameen Days festival is enjoyed as a family event that includes a Saturday morning parade, and community meals, the weekend also has a reputation for late night antics.
“We have enhanced patrols happening,” said RCMP Corporal Chad Parsons. “We have brought several members in from other detachments.”
Police will be conducting road side spot checks looking for impaired drivers, and will also be on Otter Lake and the area’s trails, making sure everyone operating a vehicle is sober.
“Come and have a good time, but do it safely,” said Parsons. “No drinking and driving any vehicle – boat, motorcycle, ATV – those are all impaired driving and we will be looking out for that. Enjoy the town and have a good time. Just do it safely and respect the full time residents.”
On previous B.C. Day weekends police have made arrests at parties, and two years ago officers responded to a street gathering where they were pelted with beer bottles.
“Most of the problems are based around alcohol. It is usually fairly well-behaved but there is potential there just based on alcohol that requires police attendance.”
Since the area experienced two long weekend fatalities involving motorbikes in 2018, RCMP have also been stepping up efforts to educate visitors and residents about safety and the law regarding recreational vehicles.
This weekend, for the first time, police will establish a kiosk in the community to assist visitors in acquiring permits to travel a limited number of Tulameen streets using off road vehicles.
“The RCMP will be doing everything we can to provide access to responsible ATVers,” said Parsons.
The permits, which are free of charge, cannot be issued electronically and that has been a “barrier” for tourists becoming legal drivers, he added.
Off road vehicle riders with proper licenses and insurance can get permits to travel on Second Avenue to Lawless Forest Service Road, and on Nicola Avenue through Third Street to get to the Trading Post.
The kiosk will be open Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
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