This year's Shambhala a mixed bag, from a policing perspective
Shambhala Festival ended well in terms of crashes and accidents, but there were many arrests, according to West Kootenay TRaffic Services Sgt. John Ferguson.
“The West Kootenay Traffic Services and Nelson IRSU are pleased to announce that during the week long Shambhala Festival no reported fatal or serious crashes occurred in our area related to this event,” Ferguson said in a release this morning, but added there were many drug seizures and license suspensions.
“The WKTS and IRSU worked long hours on the road for the sole purpose of protecting the public. In doing so, over 100 drug seizures from marijuana to more lethal drugs like LSD, cocaine and MDMA occured,” he said. “Numerous 24-hour suspensions occurred for drug impairment as well as three charges being forwarded for drug-impaired driving. Two impaired by alcohol charges and numerous 24-hour for alcohol were processed.”
He said one of the largest concerns was dangerous driving – something RCMP take very seriously.
“One disturbing factor during this 10,000-person festival was excessive speeding charges and vehicle seizures. A total of 19 vehicles were seized under the Motor Vehicle Act for exceeding the posted speed limit in excess of 40 km/hr. The highest speed was 180 km/hr. Most vehicles seized were related to people travelling to and from the festival. Next year the patrols will be focussing on this disturbing trend.”
Meanwhile, he offered a shout-out to locals for handling the influx so well.
“The WKTS would like to thank the motoring public and the Salmo residents for their patience and understanding during this time.”