North Vancouver driver 1st person fined for non-essential travel in B.C. after trip to Vancouver Island

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A notice reminding drivers of the provincial ban on non-essential travel is seen in Surrey, B.C., on May 4. A driver from North Vancouver has become the first person fined $575 for breaking the rule after travelling to Vancouver Island. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC - image credit)
A notice reminding drivers of the provincial ban on non-essential travel is seen in Surrey, B.C., on May 4. A driver from North Vancouver has become the first person fined $575 for breaking the rule after travelling to Vancouver Island. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC - image credit)

A driver who travelled from their home in North Vancouver to Vancouver Island has become the first person in B.C. to be fined for breaking current restrictions on non-essential travel.

RCMP initially pulled over the driver, who was not identified, for driving offences on southern Vancouver Island on May 1.

An officer spoke with the driver and determined their reason for being on the Island was not essential.

The officer issued a $575 ticket under the Emergency Program Act and told the driver "to return to the Lower Mainland immediately," according to a statement.

The driver was also ticketed for the initial driving offences.

Travel boundaries

Non-essential travel in B.C. is limited to three regions, which are areas covered by the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health authorities; the Northern and Interior health authorities; and Vancouver Island.

RCMP has set up road checks on highway corridors connecting the mainland regional zones to uphold the rules.

No tickets have been issued at any of the checks established so far on highways 1, 3, 5 and 99.

There are no check stops in place around BC Ferries terminals. Ferry staff are being instructed to ask passengers for their reason for travelling, and are refusing to accept bookings for recreational vehicles such as campers and trailers.

RCMP Supt. Holly Turton, the officer in charge of the B.C. Highway Patrol Unit said many non-essential travellers stopped at the highway checks have turned around voluntarily after RCMP refreshed them on the rules.

"I've been very impressed by the fact the people we've encountered at these road checks, by and large the vast, vast majority, are clearly engaging in essential travel. We've had to turn around very few people," Turton said.

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