By Breanne Massey
Special to the Pioneer
In an effort to make Columbia Valley streets safer and cleaner, the District of Invermere (DOI) would like to issue a friendly reminder to the community about pitching in to tidy up pathways for foot traffic and roads in preparation for snow removal this winter.
Up to 20 tickets have been issued to repeat offenders who have cars with expired licence plates or for boats and trailers parked on the street without a vehicle for more than 48 hours.
Mark Topliff, DOI’s bylaw enforcement officer, explained that the process for ticketing only impacts repeat offenders.
“The town itself won’t give fines out unless it’s a repeat offender,” he said. “There’s been several of those (repeat offenders) right now too.”
First and second-time offenders receive warnings if they do not obey the DOI’s bylaws. If the issue persists after two warnings, vehicles will be towed, which, on average, runs about $100 for in-town tows and $30 per day for storage of each vehicle.
“The big one for bylaw right now – because it’s November – is trailers and boats are being parked on the roadway, which isn’t allowed for longer than 48 hours unless they’re attached to a vehicle,” Mr. Topliff reported, noting that five tickets were issued on the morning of Wednesday, November 13th alone.
“We have lots and lots of cars with expired licence plates. We need to get everything off the road for snow clearing.”
In addition, Mr. Topliff urges drivers to be mindful about driving safely this season.
“I almost got run over this morning,” he said. “They come right up to the crosswalk and hit the brakes then they slide right into it … When it snows, everybody has to learn how to drive again. It’s slippery outside.”
He added there’s no reason to rush when you are operating on Valley time.
“Take an extra 10 minutes in (your) day and calm down,” Mr. Topliff said, adding he even saw incidents of road rage on Remembrance Day.
“We have a beautiful little community here. So, people should take their time and enjoy the mountains, not to mention the ski hill is going to open up soon so we’re going to start seeing some more traffic.”
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mr. Topliff at 250-342-1707.
House-numbering complaints raise red flags for emergency crews
A lack of house-numbering on streets within the DOI has raised alarm bells for emergency responders in the Valley.
According to Mr. Topliff, several calls have been fielded at the DOI in response to the number of homes within the community that currently do not have visible house numbers because of the potential impact to firefighters, ambulance drivers and other emergency crews.
“It’s important for fire service, ambulance or bylaw,” he explained to the Pioneer. “It’s not a law, but everyone should have (a visible address) out for their own peace of mind. Ambulances have to have a physical address.”
Mr. Topliff has been fielding complaints from emergency crews by putting up reminders to homeowners about the importance of clearly displaying an address. His goal is to help the community understand the value of this effort.
“Emergency services have contacted me numerous times because there’s literally hundreds of houses with no house numbers that can be seen,” he said. “When I go around and see a house, I like to put a reminder on the door. That’s something that should be looked at all the time… Some emergency vehicles cannot respond without a physical address.”