Motorists driving through Kootenay National Park in need of a break from driving, or simply wanting to pull over, now can with Parks Canada having officially lifted the temporary No Stopping Zone for an 11-kilometre stretch of Highway 93 South.
The restriction on pulling over during this stretch has been put in place for the last four years on an annual seasonal basis as a safety precaution to keep both motorists safe as well as bears coming out of hibernation safe so they feel undisturbed. This year, the restriction was put in place on May 12th and was lifted on June 14th.
Jon Stuart-Smith, the Human-Wildlife Conflict Specialist for the Lake Louise-Yoho-Kootenay Park region, said this length of restriction is in line with that of years past, running for about a month.
Mr. Stuart-Smith said during this years no stopping period,19 warnings were issued for people pulling over with one ongoing investigation regarding an incident of possibly feeding wildlife.
He said that although the pullover restriction is now lifted, its important for people to know its still both illegal and unsafe to stop and feed wildlife on the side of the highway.
The feeding of the wildlife is still definitely an issue we are trying to make sure people understand that thats not allowed and causes really big problems for the wildlife and endangers people as well, Mr. Stuart-Smith said.