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Blue Divider Line

In just one sentence (immediately below) we hope this will help calm your road rage.

Think about if you were the road rage(er) and you made a mistake driving or you were slow one day, would you like it if some jerk took their road rage out on you?

Well if you are a road rage(er) and you wouldn't like a road rage(er) to do it to you, then don't do it to others!  Nobody is perfect!

Blue Divider Line

Associations ask for more speed traps
by Wayne Moore - Story: 56512 - Aug 28, 2010

The increased speed of vehicles through Kelowna neighbourhoods has caught the attention of local neighbourhood associations.

Kelowna Councillor, Luke Stack, says the city got the message loud and clear after recent meetings with local neighbourhood associations.

The councillor brought forth the concerns to RCMP Inspector Cam Forgues during his bi-monthly report to council Monday.

"One of the common themes we had from almost all of them concerned speed enforcement, particularly on the major arteries like Springfield and Glenmore," says Stack.

"Is there more the RCMP can be doing to enforce speed on those major arterials?"

Forgues told council it's a daily battle within the local detachment to deploy resources to where they are needed most.

"Unfortunately over the past few years, we have been robbing traffic section to feed general duty and other general investigation sections," says Forgues.

"Our traffic unit resources have been down for some time. It would be a matter of re-deploying them again from general duty back to traffic. It's a juggling act."

Forgues says the same concerns council has been hearing from the neighbourhood associations are relayed to the detachment on a daily basis.

"The superintendent has gone out to our general duty members and said 'I know you're busy, but take the time to write a few tickets.'"

Meantime, police in Kelowna have been cracking down on drinking in public, especially on public beaches.

In July, 391 Provincial Liquor Offence tickets were written.

This compares to 268 in June and 163 in July of 2009.

"This again is a message from the superintendent. Of course we always want to enforce zero tolerance because if we can send a message to the public they are not allowed to drink on the beaches we want that message spread," says Forgues.

"I think that's what is taking place here. I hope in the future those stats come down as people learn they can't consume beer on our beaches."

Blue Divider Line

Why you shouldn't tailgate

Brake drum kills Calgary woman on Trans-Canada
CBC News - - Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Police seeking driver who may not know brake drum fell off vehicle.

The partial brake drum would have been travelling at about 80 km/h when it struck the windshield of this SUV, killing a Calgary woman. (CBC)

A Calgary woman is dead after a piece of a brake drum shot through her windshield at 80 kilometres an hour as she was driving on the Trans-Canada Highway.

The woman, 25, was driving alone in her Toyota SUV westbound behind a tractor-trailer near the Stoney Trail exit on Monday night, said Calgary police.

Police said the partial steel drum — believed to be from a large commercial vehicle — was lying on the road and was kicked into the air as the semi drove over it.

The circular steel piece weighing about 13.6 kilograms would have hurtled back at the woman's SUV at about 80 km/h, said acting Sgt. Colin Foster from the Calgary police traffic unit.

The woman suffered head injuries and was rushed to Foothills Medical Centre, where she died. The semi driver stayed at the scene to help police with their investigation.

More than 1,000 pieces of hazardous debris have been picked up from Stoney Trail alone in the last six months. (CBC)
Police are looking for the driver of the commercial vehicle from which the drum fell.

"What we are seeking is for any commercial vehicle driver to examine his vehicle and come forward so we can complete a thorough and full investigation on behalf of the deceased's family," said Foster.

"I can't comment as to whether any charges are pending on that case. The driver … may not know that this defect has occurred on this vehicle."

Foster said this type of event is "exceptionally rare," but encouraged drivers to keep a safe space between their vehicle and the one in front.

"So that if something does happen they may have a chance they can avoid it," he explained.

Call 911 to report dangerous debris
Records for Carmacks, the company in charge of patrolling Stoney Trail for debris, show a crew went through the area about an hour before the accident, said Gary Brooks, a highway division manager.

"We do routine patrols in the weekdays every two hours between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and every four hours after that," he told CBC News.

In the last six months, Carmacks has picked up more than 1,000 pieces of hazardous debris from Stoney Trail alone, Brooks added.

Foster encouraged the public to call 911 if they notice any debris or dangerous items lying on the road.

"Those are sort of hazards of the road that everybody has got to be aware of, and the sooner we know that there is debris out there, the sooner we can get that stuff addressed and removed," said Jack Brown, an operations manager with Volker Stevin, the company that maintains highways in southern Alberta.

Blue Divider Line

What not to do while driving.

Road rage ends in crash, charges
by Castanet Staff - Story: 55287 - Jun 21, 2010

It started as a case of road rage and ended with one man in hospital and charges against a second.

RCMP in Vernon say late last Thursday afternoon the driver of a jeep and the rider of a motorcycle were seen exchanging rude gestures as they drove around the city.

The driver of the jeep was apparently unhappy with the speed and manner in which the motorcycle was being driven.

Police spokesman, Gord Molendyk, says the jeep followed the bike to 43rd Street, When the bike did a u-turn at 43rd Street, the driver of the jeep admitted he intentionally placed his vehicle in the oncoming lane to block the bike so he could have words with the rider.

"This caused the bike to strike the front end of the jeep," says Molendyk.

"The driver of the motorcycle, a 25-year-old man, was taken to VJH with minor neck injuries. There was about $1,500 damage to the bike and none to the jeep."

Molendyk says the 30-year-old driver of the jeep has been charged under the Motor Vehicle Act with driving without consideration and failing to keep right.

Blue Divider Line

April 8, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 5.1 Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition.pdf


.pdf icon Item 6.1 Bylaw Dispute Adjudication Program.pdf (for some reason RDCO has this under Bylaw Dispute Adjudication)

*This is only a portion of the agenda ... please click link for entire contents

3.6. BC Transit strategic Planning Session held November 17,2009

.. It was noted that not one of the top five priorities of the Transit Plan dealt with greenhouse gas reductions. As this is a provincially mandated requirement for local governments discussion ensued as to why this is not a priority.

Whereas the average British Columbia community has 2.5% of its citizens using public transportation and that the current BC Transit objective is to double ridership to 5% and

Whereas the BC Transit Strategic Plan is being developed to the year 2030, and the Province has set the green house gas emission reduction targets to be reduced by 80% to the year 2050;

AND Whereas not one of the top five priorities of BC Transits draft strategic transit plan deals with greenhouse gas reductions,

THEREFORE, the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition recommends that the BC Transit Strategic Plan include in their strategic plan a higher objective than doubling ridership in order to reduce greenhouse gases;

AND FURTHER THAT BC Transit should consider green house gas reduction and improving air quality as part of their list of major priorities to address Provincial climate change and air quality

AND FURTHER THAT this resolution be forwarded to the three Regional Districts Boards for support of the resolution prior to a letter being forwarded to BC Transit.

MOVED BY: Sharon Shepherd SECONDED BY: Buffy Baumbrough



4.5. Anti-idling - Mayor Shepherd, Nicole Marzinzik

Staff provided information to guide the Coalition in a discussion on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from idling vehicles and provide recommendations to the participating Regional Districts.

• Educating and modeling should be the priority, target schools and corporations.
• Develop broad based campaigns (plans) working on behavioral changes using social marketing (resources may be available from Fraser Basin).
• Have sectors set up their own clear objectives on how to reduce emissions.
• Participating Regional Districts should lead by example regarding anti-idling awareness.
• Need to determine where the resources of the emissions are (traffic patterns, talking on cell phone, drive thrus) and who can look at this through their portfolios and promote the reduction of idling.
• Inquire if the Federal Government has funding and if they are providing anti-idling ambassadors again this year.

It was agreed that the Coalition should raise awareness and show leadership in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, before recommending an anti-idling Bylaw to their Regional Districts. The marketing could be done by one Regional District and then share the message throughout the valley. It was noted that it would be a challenge for the RDNO, as there is no
dedicated staff person for Air Quality.

Page 3 of 7


WHEREAS the UBCM Climate Action Charter, requires each Municipality to become carbon neutral by 2012 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020 to meet the BC Climate targets,

THEREFORE the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition recommends to the three Regional District Boards that they receive the anti-idling discussion and the Cracking Down on Idling papers and request that they consider a social marketing program for anti-idling,

AND FURTHER THAT the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition request regional and municipal governments forward any anti-idling policies to the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition for their review.



4.9. Highway Expansion
Chair Patton noted that expansion to a four-lane highway north of Osoyoos is occurring and businesses along the highway are going to be negatively impacted. It was felt that this will become the corridor for Highway 97.

That the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition recommend to the Regional Boards that a letter be sent to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure asking that they support public transportation as an economical and environmental alternative to Highway expansion.


Blue Divider Line


The more crowded the road, the more unsafe the road is.  Government has been promoting people to take the bus, by giving them money to hand over their old clunker car (Cash for Klunkers) to walk or bicycle.  Vehicle drivers have helped subsidize the bus through fuel taxes and in Vancouver there is a transit tax on your BC Hydro bill.  For a change, how about government partially subsidizing the people whom drive to help get them out of their cars while still keeping their cars.  Some people can't give up their cars if there is no bus and they can't afford both transit and a vehicle so they stay in their vehicle.  There could be discounts on auto insurance for driving your vehicle only part way to work for instance, or how about free skytrain and bus pass for people who pay auto insurance, etc.

Blue Divider Line

To the all area volunteer or otherwise:

When out on the roadside collecting garbage, it would be advisable to have proper signage uprighted at the roadside instead of just the hi-visibility vests in order to be seen properly WELL AHEAD of your area of work. Due to an incident on April 18/2009 at approximately 10:40 AM involving two motorcyclists and one of your members, a potentially lethal situation could have been created. I am fully aware of some of the concerns local residents have with motorcycles on Westside Rd in general, but taking the law into your own hands is blatantly unacceptable, and quite frankly it makes the offending party much more in the wrong than any motorcyclist out there can ever be. The incident in question involves myself and a friend from out of town while we were proceeding to travel to Vernon on our motorcycles, where one of your members assumed we were speeding, he stepped out into the middle of Westside Rd right before the turnoff to the transfer site, and attempted to knock me off my motorcycle with his fully loaded bag of garbage he had in his hand. I managed to avoid hitting him, but he forced my friend to stop by standing in the middle of the northbound lane and attempted to push over his motorcycle. While attempting to push over the motorcycle, he took a swing at my friend’s helmet and demanded an apology and ID while all the while trying to push the motorcycle over. This kind of behavior is a hazardous attempt at vigilante justice and could have resulted in my death, and this WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! The member in question would be wise to remember that vigilant justice is illegal and he can count his blessings that two assault charges have not been placed upon him. One should remember that if speeding or other motor vehicle infractions are suspected, one is to take down any pertinent information and forward them to the RCMP, and NOT take measures into their own hands. It is incidents such as this, that are destroying the credibility of the citizens in the area, that they are fair and just citizens representing the views and best interests of the North Westside. To the coward, and that’s what you are, who chooses to use a weapon, to knock someone off their motorcycle, you are on very thin ice legally. Personally, I think you are a coward, and if you have a spine and any decency I’d love an apology to myself and my friend. I’m also sure by now the RCMP have been in contact with you regarding this. If you choose to contact me and my friend, you can call myself.

Lynn Dirks 250-260-4084
Robert Uthoff 604-323-0122


Assault?  Attempted murder would be more suitable!!!



If you see someone speeding down the road, it could be for a good reason.  Pull over and don't block them if you are driving slow.

Maybe the speeders dog was run over and had to rush it to the vet, which is a true story of why one couple went speeding down Westside Road as fast as they felt it was safe to drive under the conditions.

We read of one lady trying to make it to the last B.C. ferry of the night (11:00 PM) to reach her fathers bedside before he took his last breath.

There could be a good reason for some people to speed, so don't get holier than thou and block speeders passage on purpose!  Pull over if your driving slow!  There could be a good reason they are speeding!  Think about it as if it was you in that situation.  Always pull over and don't block the road half believing you are god!

Blue Divider Line

Photo illustration of how to turn correctly in a multiple lane situation.
A confessed "road rage(er)" sent us this illustration on what causes her road rage.  She wants to illustrate how to make a correct turn in a multiple lane situation.  The woman who sent us this illustration designed this illustration herself and did a very good job at that!!  She lives outside of Vernon and drives to Vernon for work.

Blue Divider Line

Honda’s hybrid
North Shore Outlook - Lifestyles - Published: February 11, 2009

The 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid goes on sale April 22 (Earth Day). It has an estimated average combined fuel consumption of 4.7L/100 km or 60 mpg.

Honda has passed the next great milestone on the road to a greener future with the 2010 Insight Hybrid.

Smaller than a Honda Civic, the Insight five-door hatchback seats five adults, has a flat cargo floor with the back seat folded and can travel up to 640 km on one 40-litre tank of gas.

Fuel economy is estimated at 4.8/4.5/4.7L/100 km (58/62/60 mpg) city/highway/combined.

The Insight doesn’t go on sale until Earth Day (April 22) and pricing has yet to be announced, but it will be “competitive” with its main rival, the Toyota Prius.

The heart of the Insight is its fifth generation IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system that first bowed on the original two-seat Honda Insight a decade ago.

IMA uses energy stored in a battery pack to provide extra power to the engine when needed. What is different is the new IMA allows the Insight to run on pure battery power under certain low load conditions. A 1.3-litre, four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor are the power source of the IMA system. Combined, they produce 98 hp and 123 lb/ft of torque. An ultra-thin brushless DC motor is located between the engine and the CVT transmission. During acceleration, the motor adds power. Under braking or gentle deceleration, it acts as a generator capturing kinetic energy to recharge the battery.

When you come to a stop, the engine turns off and the Insight runs on the battery. When you move off, the engine comes back on. Honda calls this Idle Stop.

The seven-module nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery is composed of 84 D-size (1.2 volt) cells giving a total of 100.8 volts and a capacity of 5.7 ampere-hours.

Because it has fewer than the 11 modules in the Civic Hybrid, Honda engineers were able to place it under the floor along with the Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) that controls the IMA system.

Besides the battery pack, the IPU contains the power control unit (ECU) and electric control unit (ECU) along with the battery pack’s cooling system.

Compared to the IMA in the Civic Hybrid, the Insight’s IPU is 19 per cent smaller and 28 per cent lighter. The beauty is it all sits below the floor between the rear wheels instead of up behind the rear seat as in the Civic. The benefit is a flat cargo floor that is 1,935 mm long with a capacity of 891 litres.

Despite its complexity, the Insight is straightforward to drive, but there are some interesting extras. The layout of the instrument panel is like the Civic with an upper tier for the digital speed readout and a lower tier for the tachometre and fuel level.

But on the upper level, the speed is backed by a colour band that is coloured blue when fuel is being used aggressively. It turns blue-green when the driving style is moderate and then green when fuel is consumed efficiently.

On the lower tier to the left of the tach is a needle that swings up and down between blue at the top and green at the bottom to let the driver know when the battery is expending power or getting a charge.

At the centre of the lower tier is the Multi-Information Display (MID) that does a number of things like give range, instant mileage and average fuel economy.

But one of its functions is the Eco Guide. This is explained more fully in an accompanying story, but what it does is plot your fuel consumption. A series of five little plants are shown. As you temper your driving style, little leaves will sprout out. The better you are with the gas, the more leaves you get.

At the same time there is a line below the plants with a bar that extends out to the left or right. This shows how much power is being drained from the IPU under load and how much is going back under braking and coasting from regeneration. In real life, the system is easy to see and understand at a glance. But there’s more.

To the left of the steering wheel is a green button marked “ECON.” Push it and the IMA is recalibrated for enhanced fuel economy by limiting power by four per cent, making Idle Stop come into play sooner, running the air conditioning in recirculation mode and reducing fan speed while smoothing out the CVT gearing changes.

Why, you ask, if ECON is better, did Honda bother with two modes?

Hondas are supposed to always be responsive and sporty. So what the engineers decided was to have one mode for driving when you need more power like merging onto highways and another for stretching each litre to the max.

Several journalists at the press launch noted the Insight bore a passing resemblance to the current Prius. More than flattery, it’s a case of form following function.

Honda did everything to lower drag from moving the radio antenna to the back of the car and adding body strakes near the wheels to smooth out turbulence to making the underneath of the Insight like one, big flat panel. The result was a lozenge shape but with a drag coefficient better than a lot of racecars.

And don’t think that just because the Insight gives new meaning to the term “economy car” that it is cheaply produced.

There will be two trim levels in Canada starting with the LX that features climate control, power locks/windows/doors, remote entry, cruise control and more.

The EX adds stability control, alloy wheels, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Honda’s navigation system with bilingual voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity. Unsaid at the unveiling of the Insight was the sense Honda is turning its attention to positioning itself as the “affordable” green car company as the slightly larger Civic Hybrid will continue to be sold on the same showroom floor.

And with the 2010 Insight, Honda has made a great first step in that direction.

The next giant step along the hybrid highway.

Blue Divider Line

Depending on your situation, you may be able to reduce your penalty point debt. You may be able to eliminate your driver penalty point premium if you voluntarily surrender your driver's licence to an ICBC Driver Licensing Office for one year during the billing period.

Blue Divider Line

ICBC Insurance Discount protection

You can choose to repay any at-fault claim.  Then it won't affect your position on the Claim-Rated Scale and you will maintain your current discount.

In cases where damage is minor and/or there are no injuries, or where the cost of settling the claim is not high, this may be your best choice.

Blue Divider Line

Driving 102
Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Published: January 20, 2009

I find it ironic that Terry calls for drivers to use common sense, and be courteous to others on the road in his letter “Driving 101”, in which he urges vehicles turning left to creep into the intersection while waiting to make their turn.

My interpretation of common sense and courtesy on the road means following the rules of the road, and driving calmly and defensively.

According to Section 189 (1)(c) of the Motor Vehicle Act, it is against the law to stop in an intersection.

It is also against the law to enter an intersection on a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to stop.

So when turning left at a green light, lawfully, you would be required to stop before the marked crosswalk, and wait for a safe opportunity to enter the intersection and complete the left turn.

Should the light turn yellow, and then red while you are waiting, you have to wait for the next advance left turn signal, or green light.

I do not creep into intersections for a few reasons: it is against the law; intersections should be clear in case an emergency vehicle requires right of way; there are no guarantees that oncoming traffic will not run the red light, leaving me stuck there.

I am not scared of turning left, nor am I a “dummy,” just trying to avoid a collision whenever possible.

I would suggest to anyone unclear on these rules, to refer to the Ministry of Transportation for clarification, you can also refer to the Motor Vehicle Act online, Google it.

L. Medcalf

Blue Divider Line

Accounting: Motor Vehicle Act Section 65 Subject to section 17 of the Insurance Corporation Act, all fees collected under this Act shall be paid into the consolidated revenue fund.

Highway Lines: Motor Vehicle Act Section 155 (1)(c) one single line, broken or solid, the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle to the right of the line, except only when passing an overtaken vehicle.

Signals on turning: Motor Vehicle Act Section 170(3) If there is an opportunity to give a signal, a driver must not stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving the appropriate signal under sections 171 and 172.

Pedestrian walking along highway: Motor Vehicle Act Section 182 (3) A person must not be on a roadway to solicit a ride, employment or business from an occupant of a vehicle.
(4) Except for a person who solicits a ride in an emergency situation, a person who contravenes this section commits an offence.

Green light: Motor Vehicle Act Section 127 (1) When a green light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal,
(a) the driver of a vehicle facing the green light
(iii) must yield the right of way to vehicles lawfully in the intersection at the time the green light became exhibited, and

Blue Divider Line

Too many accidents
Vernon Morning Star Letters - Published August 15, 2008

I had the terrible misfortune of taking 43rd Ave. to 20th St. to pick up my wife from a friend's house.

What met me at the corner was yet another accident. I have to admit, even after the terrible accident involving a cab driver I was skeptical about the idea of a traffic light, but no longer.

The citizens of this city pay our politicians' wages, as well as produce our budget for things like traffic improvements, so, why not listen to the people who pay your salary and put in traffic lights?

Apparently there have been "studies" into what would be most suitable for that intersection, well, perhaps council can allow for some other studies: life without a father, or, grief management in the workplace, perhaps rehabilitation for the maimed and disabled?

Am I being dramatic? You bet I am! No more dramatic then say, the reaction of learning your loved one was killed in a terrible accident.

Let's get it together councilmen/women, don't make us regret voting you into office.

Terry denBok

Blue Divider Line

Youth brings first lawsuit against the District of Westside
By Jason Luciw - Kelowna Capital News - Published: June 11, 2008

Westside has been named in its first lawsuit—a small claims action.

Teenager Jared McNeely is seeking $4,277.17 in damages after an April 15 rollover accident on Boucherie Road.

McNeely is under 18 so he has to sue through his legal guardian, David McNeely, who is also named as a claimant in the suit.

The McNeelys did not return calls before press deadline Monday.

But, according to a writ filed with the Kelowna law courts last week, the young driver alleges both the District of Westside municipality and TT Contractors failed to post proper road construction signs.

The accident could have been avoided, claims McNeely, had advanced warning been given about the change in road conditions, .

“I was travelling northbound on Boucherie Road, near Green Bay, when I suddenly and unexpectedly encountered an abrupt and significant change in road surface,” he says in his documents filed with the court.

The small claims court action states that Boucherie Road suddenly went from pavement to “compacted and loose material” at the time, causing him to lose control of his vehicle. A rollover accident resulted.

The youth is seeking damages for the loss of his vehicle, towing and storage charges, company search charges pertaining to the case and personal inconvenience, stress and discomfort.

Blue Divider Line

Westside given highway status
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - Published: July 11, 2008

RCMP will continue to enforce traffic laws on Westside Road.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled June 30 that Westside Road is a legal highway, meaning that the police have the authority to issue traffic tickets.

“It is a highway as defined under legislation,” said Gord Molendyk, spokesman for the RCMP.

The court case related to an incident in 2006 in which the police had issued a $138 ticket to Okanagan Indian Band member Raymond Bonneau for speeding.

Bonneau challenged the ticket and a judge at the time acquitted Bonneau, saying that the Crown had failed to prove the road was highway as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act.

The government decided to appeal that decision, leading to the June 30 decision by Justice Powers.

“The question is whether or not the road was used by the general public for the passage of vehicles,” states Powers.

“It is clear on the evidence of Mr. Bonneau and Constable Orb that it was. Therefore, the (previous) judge’s conclusion that the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this was a public highway did amount to an error of mixed fact and law.”

Bonneau, who represented himself in court, had pointed to a permit system the band has in place primarily for commercial vehicles using the road.

“There is no enforcement of this system, but it simply operates on an honour basis,” said Powers.

Powers goes on to say that, “the road passes through the Okanagan Indian Reserve and there are no impediments to any individuals travelling on that road.

“There are no individuals barred from using that road. The evidence is that motor vehicles access the road from non-reserve land.”

The judge has ordered that the original fine stands.

Bonneau is not pleased with the court ruling.

“It’s not done yet. I have to find out if I can appeal the decision,” he told The Morning Star.

Bonneau continues to insists that Westside Road is not public property.

“We’ve not given the rights up to that road. The band has never opened up an invitation to that road,” he said.

Bonneau also questions whether provincial laws can apply to lands under federal jurisdiction.

Despite legal questions since 2006, Molendyk says the police have continued to be responsible for the road.

“They have still been doing enforcement on the road but that would have been made difficult if the (court) decision had held,” he said.

The Okanagan Indian Band could not be reached for comment.

Blue Divider Line

Ruling means RCMP will still enforce law on Westside Road
Vernon Morning Star - Published: July 10, 2008

RCMP will continue to enforce traffic laws on Westside Road.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled June 30 that Westside Road is a legal highway, meaning that the police have the authority to issue traffic tickets.

“It is a highway as defined under legislation,” said Gord Molendyk, spokesman for the RCMP.

The court case related to an incident in 2006 in which the police issued a $138 ticket to Okanagan Indian Band member Raymond Bonneau for speeding.

Bonneau challenged the ticket and a judge at the time acquitted Bonneau, saying that the Crown had failed to prove the road was highway as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act.

The government decided to appeal that decision, leading to June 30 decision by Justice Powers.

“The question is whether or not the road was used by the general public for the passage of vehicles,” states Powers.

“It is clear on the evidence of Mr. Bonneau and Const. Orb that it was. Therefore, the (previous) judge’s conclusion that the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this was a public highway did amount to an error of mixed fact and law.”

Powers goes on to say that, “the road passes through the Okanagan Indian Reserve and there are no impediments to any individuals travelling on that road.

There are no individuals barred from using that road. The evidence is that motor vehicles access the road from non-reserve land.”

Bonneau, who represented himself in court, had pointed to a permit system the band has in place primarily for commercial vehicles using the road.

“There is no enforcement of this system, but it simply operates on an honour basis,” said Powers.

“Mr. Bonneau confirmed that the road was paved and he was 100 per cent sure that the Department of Highways maintains that road.”

Despite legal questions since 2006, Molendyk says the police have continued to be responsible for the road.

Neither Bonneau or the Okanagan Indian Band could be reached for comment.

Blue Divider Line

July 4, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star - Letters

Hi my name is Claudette, I live out on the westside of the lake just off Westside road. I am writing this letter to remind people just how dangerous the road can be!!!

I came upon an accident scene on Tuesday May 10th it involved one person and a Harley Davidson motor bike. When I stopped at the scene I asked if they needed help? They asked for some water. I pulled off to the side got out and observed the man who was riding the bike, he was standing up walking around and badly injured. I asked if an ambulance was on the way and was told they had cancelled it because when the man came to, from being unconscious, he said he didn't want one.

OK, he was in shock he just crashed his new 2008 bike and he has major head injuries. I just have to ask would you cancel the ambulance? A man at the scene asked where I lived so he could put his bike there, I told him just up the road and I am taking the man with me to get the fastest possible medical attention. You could visually see he needed it, my husband was with the fire dept. He has training as an FMR ( first medical responder). I got the man here and we got him some help immediately. The North Westside fire dept were here in minutes to asses the situation. The attendance saw what I saw that he needed to go to the hospital. They dispatched an ambulance to take the man to the hospital. I have recently found out that the injuries were serious he has liver damage, ruptured spleen, a punctured lung, 3 broken ribs, his cheek bone was crushed, do I need to say more?

People travelling this road may it be by car or bike, need to be careful it is not a game it is dangerous there are many sharp corners and very steep cliffs.

This message is for people who come to a scene and see someone has been hurt do call an ambulance and do not cancel it, even an the request of the injured!

If you are going for a bike ride make sure you are wearing protective gear even if you think it won't happen, you should be thinking it might. The moral of this story is driving can be dangerous and people need to keep safe.

Claudette Helland

Blue Divider Line

July 04, 2008 - Vernon Morning star - Letters

With the news reporting the many recent tazoring incidents that have happened here in B.C. and throughout the rest of the CDN Provinces; I would like to share this present reacity.

Have you heard of a new affliction lately cal P.P.T.A.D.?

What in the world is that; you say? This affliction now effects more people than we at frist realized. Most good people who drive their SUV’s Pickups Trucks, and economy cars back and forth to work each day are now potentially at ricsk of contracting this new affliction.

Only a few short years ago the driving public used to be a lot more relayed behind the wheel, but lately this is not the case anymore. Have you heard about an 82 year old gentleman that was tazored when stopped for a minor traffic infraction by a police office? How many innocent people have been tortured or killed by the use of these devilish devices? Probably too many; so the question remains as to what is P.P.T.A.D. is? It stands for “Potentail Paranoid Tazoring Anxiety Disorder”.

I recently experienced this particular anxiety disorder when as a law abiding driver that was driving the legal speed limit went over the crest of the hill on one of our roadways locally and suddenly seen a police roadblock as I was headed into town. My initial instinct was to keep driving forward but for some unknown reason at the time I hit the brakes prematurely before I arrived at the roadblock. Moments later I noticed a police officer waving his hands franticly up ahead. By this time this anxiety disorder called P.P.T.A.D. had started to take its effect and under it’s influence for some unknown reason I made a quick u-turn to make my escape from what I thought were trigger happy gun totting tazoring individual police officers, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.

I am sure that some of you can figure out the rest of the story but I’m certain that people in the future are going to use P.P.T.A.D. as a defencse mechanism in upcoming court cases.

George Maier

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Bikers singled out
June 20, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star - Letters

With reference to your article of May 21. Of the 214 offences I found listed, a whole 24 were motorcycles.

Yes a couple of the worst offences (driving 200 kilometres an hour) were motorcycles but the drunks were in cars, and their mention was a second thought My only question is has no one in the RCMP, B.C. government or ICBC read the Hurt report?

It is the only scientific study of motorcycle accidents ever done in North America. It was done in 1979 at USC, where they looked at all factors in more than 3,600 accidents involving motorcycles.

A link to a summary of the report follows. What the report states is that the average speed of a motorcycle crash is approximately 33 kilometres per hour and that two-thirds of the two-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles were the fault of the passenger car driver not yielding the right of way.

When asked if the old data is still valid in an 1999 interview, Harry Hurt (author of the report and still involved at that time in motorcycle safety) responded yes

We, the motorcycle riding public, are being singled out as villians when the scientific proof states otherwise.

Doug Stirling

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Onus is on the victim to prove a hit and run crime actually occurred
June 01, 2008 - Kelowna Capital News - Opinion

You return to your car with your groceries to find the side of your car dented in.

It was likely an innocent accident: Someone just misjudged the distance when backing up.

You are not thinking innocence, though. This is all you need in your already busy life—having to take your car to be assessed, then repaired, and then dealing with the offending driver’s insurance company to get reimbursed.

It’s worse than that, though. Whoever did it knew they would be impossible to track down, and wanted to save having to make a claim against their insurance. He or she didn’t bother to wait around or leave a note.

So much for recovering the cost of repair from the offending driver’s insurance company.

If you’re lucky, you purchased collision insurance. If so, you will still be stuck with a deductible. If not, you face paying the whole shot.

It’s bad enough if it happens in a parking lot and nobody gets hurt.

Take that same scenario out on the road.

Put a pedestrian or bicyclist in the place of the parked car.

It happens all too frequently.

What pedestrian or bicyclist has the presence of mind to notice the plate number of the offending vehicle as they are flying through the air?

Often, there are no witnesses.

Even if there are, the witnesses are likely more concerned about helping the injured bicyclist than jotting down a plate number.

Hit and run causing injury takes on a higher level of evil.

It’s one thing to run away from your responsibilities. It’s quite another to leave an injured victim lying on the side of the road without offering assistance or calling an ambulance.

Do you detect a certain venom in my tone? I may not be hiding it well. If you’re interested where that venom might be coming from, I invite you to read last week’s column.

As awful as it is to be injured by a negligent driver who doesn’t have the moral fibre to stick around and own up to his or her responsibilities, I have good news for hit and run victims.

Whether it is just damage to your vehicle, or you have been injured, you may qualify for compensation through our insurance system.

Don’t expect a representative of the insurance company to insist on a meeting with you so that you can be fully informed about what compensation you might be entitled to, the various steps that you have to take in order to qualify, or the critical time frames during which those various steps have to be taken.

Your relationship with the insurance company in a hit and run claim is very similar to the relationship you have with the insurance company when they are representing a negligent driver. It is very much an adversarial one.

As with any other crash claim, you will first have to prove that an unidentified offending driver caused your injuries.

With a hit and run scenario involving a bicycle, this involves first proving that a vehicle was involved. If the bicyclist lost control after swerving to avoid a negligent vehicle driver, the involvement of a vehicle in the incident may be very difficult to prove.

As such, it is even more important in hit and run scenarios to collect as much evidence as possible at the accident scene.

A part of the law that hit and run victims are often in the dark about is the legal onus on them to take all reasonable steps to try to determine who the offending driver was. You cannot simply rely on the police or the insurance company to do that.

How is that for unfair?

As between the police, the insurance company, and you, why is it that the victim—the one with the least resources to track down the hit and run driver—who carries that legal onus?

The failure to do such things as interview local businesses or homeowners, put up posters, or put an advertisement in the local newspaper to look for witnesses may eliminate your right to compensation if not done in a timely fashion or at all.

There are other steps that must be taken as well, with strict time lines.

If you have been the victim of a hit and run driver, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of the free initial consultation that most lawyers provide to car crash victims so that you can be fully informed about your rights and, most importantly, the particular steps that must be taken so as not to lose those rights.

This column is intended to provide general information about injury claims. It is not a substitute for retaining a lawyer to provide legal advice specifically pertaining to your case. Paul Hergott is a lawyer with Hergott Law on the Westside. If there are particular issues you would like discussed in this column, please e-mail Paul directly at:

paul at

Blue Divider Line

Arrests made in road rage homicide
By Monique Tamminga - Langley Times - March 14, 2008
A 38-year-old Langley man and his passenger have been arrested and released without charges in connection with the hit-and-run death of a 21-year-old Abbotsford man on Thursday morning.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) held a press conference Friday in Langley, announcing that the suspect white Ford F250 has been seized and the driver, who isn't known to police, was interviewed well into Thursday evening before being released.

The two men were arrested and the pickup seized several hours after the deadly road rage incident, said IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Dale Carr. The driver did not turn himself in.

Langley RCMP said the deadly run-in started just after 2 a.m., as 21-year-old Silas O'Brien and two of his friends drove along 16 Avenue on their way to the airport for a dream vacation to Hawaii.

All three had been at a prayer meeting just hours before, getting a chance to bid their parents farewell. While driving in the 25800 block of 16 Avenue, the three young men's Chevy Silverado truck came up behind a white Ford F250 pick up.

Police believe the Silverado may have tried to pass the Ford. The driver of the Ford then forced the Chevy off the road and into a ditch.

The three men got out to survey the damage. As the they stood at the side of the road, the Ford pickup turned and drove back, heading straight at them. Two of the friends jumped out of the way, but O'Brien was hit and killed in front of his two best friends. The Ford then sped off.

"At this point we are very confident we have the right F250 and the right suspect," said Carr.

The arrest took place at Fraser Highway and 232 Street, but Carr wouldn't say if it was at a residence.

"Alcohol and drugs may form part of our investigation," he confirmed.

As for whether the driver could face second degree murder charges, Carr wasn't willing to speculate.

"Our challenge is proving intent," he said. "If the evidence supports a murder charge then that's what would go forward to Crown."

Investigators continue to work hard to obtain charges.

"The vehicle is undergoing a thorough forensic investigation at this point," Carr said.

Meanwhile, O'Brien's parents are asking for privacy.

"I have spoken to the O'Briens and I will relay a message from them," said Langley RCMP Supt. Janice Armstrong. "They really appreciate the outpouring of compassion and love from this community and the entire Lower Mainland.

"It's given them strength in such a terrible time."

Armstrong offered heartfelt condolences to the O'Brien family and to Silas' friends on behalf of the officers and the community.

"We are in shock and disbelief. This is such a senseless and terrible tragedy. It's a cowardly crime," she said.

Blue Divider Line

Abby man killed in road rage incident
By Monique Tamminga - Langley Times - March 13, 2008

Three long-time friends heading to Vancouver Airport for a dream vacation to Hawaii, when the unthinkable happened early Thursday morning.

Silas O'Brien, a 21-year-old Abbotsford man, was mowed down and killed and his two friends left deeply traumatized after the vehicle they were in was run off the road in what police are calling a deliberate act of road rage.

The three 21-year-olds, who are all members of Cloverdale Bible Way church, had just been at a prayer meeting the night before, joined by more than 500 members of their congregation including their families. They were there to wish the three a fond farewell.

Now the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has taken over the case and are looking for the white Ford F250 truck and the driver responsible for this deadly hit-and-run.

Langley RCMP say it started just after 2 a.m. as the young men's Chevy Silverado truck came up behind the Ford truck heading west in the 25800 block of 16 Avenue.

The Chevy, containing the three Abbotsford men, may have tried to pass the truck. The driver of the Ford pick-up then ran the Chevy off the road and into a ditch, said Langley RCMP.

The three men got out of the Chevy to survey the damage. Police believe the driver of a silver Honda stopped to make sure everyone was OK. The three said they were and the Honda driver went on his way.

That's when the driver of the Ford F250 drove back, deliberately heading straight for them.

Sam Dooley, 21, and Luke Stevens, 21, along with O'Brien, were all standing on the side of the road when the truck came right at them.

Dooley and Stevens jumped out of the way but O'Brien was hit.

He died at the scene. His two friends were brought to the Langley detachment and Victim Services was counselling them as they come to grips with what happened.

The three young men's senior pastor Ed Byskal arrived at the scene of the crime on Thursday morning. He had just led the young men in prayer the night before, wishing them a safe journey to Hawaii.

"These young men were well thought of. These are very fine young men," said Byskal. "Last night he got to say goodbye to his family."

Byskal said the three young men were like brothers to each other and have known one another for years.

O'Brien worked with his dad and the two are very close, said Byskal.

The three young men were part of a tight-knit youth group, he said.

IHIT is hoping to hear from anyone who may know something or may have passed by the truck at any point that night.

The Ford truck is a pick-up equipped with a rack able to hold recreational vehicles like snowmobiles. It will have front end damage, towards the driver's side.

Police would like to talk to the driver of the silver Honda that had pulled over earlier to make sure the three were OK.

Call the IHIT at 1-877-543-9217 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Blue Divider Line

RCMP investigate case of road rage
By Roger Knox
Vernon Morning Star - February 27, 2008

Vernon RCMP are investigating a road rage incident Saturday afternoon, and are asking for the public’s help in finding one of the drivers.

Police report that at approximately 12:40 p.m. on Saturday, two males drove into the parking lot of the Longhorn Pub on 25th Avenue after nearly colliding on the roadway.

After getting out of their vehicles, an argument and pushing match ensued between the two male drivers in the parking lot, witnessed by an employee of the Longhorn.

“A male driving a newer model silver-grey Jeep Cherokee got back into his vehicle and actually squealed his tires as he drove towards the driver’s side of the second vehicle, a 2004 blue Toyota Celica,” said RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk.

“He narrowly missed the driver, but caught the driver’s side door and bent it right back to the front fender, then took off.”

The suspect is a male, approximately 5-foot-11, with short, brown hair and a slender build. He was wearing a white shirt and large sunglasses.

Molendyk said the jeep was covered with mud and dust, so a view of the suspect licence plate was blocked.

“We’re asking the public, anybody who saw this incident, or anybody who noticed this newer-model silver-grey Jeep Cherokee – probably has damage to the right front, the headlight area – to give us a call,” said Molendyk.

Call the Vernon detachment at 545-7171 if you can provide any information.

Blue Divider Line

Internet stats make case
April 23, 2008 - Kelowna Capital News

To the editor:

Re: What’s Wrong With A Little Weed While Cruisin’? April 13, Capital News, submitted by Kelowna Alcohol and Drug Services.

Several studies have established that pot smoking and driving is a remarkably safe and pleasant way to get around. For those with computers go:

This article contains several links to studies that show just how safe drivers on cannabis are. Obviously, it makes a difference if the driver is a seasoned pot smoker or a newbie. If in doubt, take the bus.

Far less responsible is the article to which I’m responding, or the bogus survey quoted.

The 2006 Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse report relied on a telephone survey (with what scientific validity?) but no field tests or research that contradicted the position they apparently are fixated on. If they had bothered to use a comprehensive and balanced approach, their conclusions would have been quite different.

Bruce Codere,
Fox Creek, Alta.

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Vernon Blog Spot on Westside Road being used as Vernon's bypass.

The last time we looked the poll suggested Westside Road as the corridor.


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Get Involved, Demand a Bypass Now!

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Is speed killing us?  Think about your answer and then read this.

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According to a 1995 BCAA Angus Reid poll:

  • over one-half of members (57%) feel slow moving vehicles are more of a safety hazard than fast-moving ones,

  • posted speed limits don't mean much (54%)"

  • only a few staunch members (9%) think that any speed over the posted speed limit qualifies as speeding." [as the Motor Vehicle Act defines speeding'!]

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