Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to the Jeers comments (August 7th Pioneer) by the person complaining that traffic enforcement in Kootenay National Park and not having a police officer manning the four-way stop in Radium during the Friday of the August long weekend caused him/her a great deal of frustration and, as stated, resulted in being plus or minus 30 minutes late. Also, to the suggestion that the detachment should, rather, focus more on community service.

First of all, I would say to the author that if you are plus or minus 30 minutes late getting to your destination in the valley on a Friday of a long weekend, it should be celebrated with a cold beer upon your arrival. This detachment receives numerous complaints of dangerous driving habits on Highway 93 in the park. Southeast District Traffic out of Cranbrook will conduct numerous operations in the Park on a normal basis but certainly concentrate their efforts en masse on long weekends with the expected heavy traffic. They will move their operations around the Park, which has been identified as a problem area by the public.

This must be truly unacceptable to be plus or minus 30 minutes late. As I am very familiar with the Commander of the Traffic Services, I apologize on his behalf for having his officers do their job to ensure that the author of the Jeers and his family arrived and returned home safely.

As for not having an officer on a Friday of a long weekend dedicated to traffic control at the four-way stop in Radium, which further contributed to being plus or minus 30 minutes late, this unfortunately falls on my shoulders.

You stated this caused the lineup to back all the way to the tunnel. I should have recognized that you were working on a timeline and that I failed to take this as one of the long weekend priorities.

On behalf of the detachment, please accept my apology for contributing to your lateness. I would strongly suggest that in the future you contact me and inform me of your travel plans and timetable for the next long weekend as I will request Traffic Services hold off and I will do my best to man the four-way stop in Radium. I just need the courtesy of you contacting the detachment to inform me of your arrival so we go back to business as usual.

As for the authors comment that the detachment should focus more on community service, Nicole (editor) at The Pioneer has strict rules for length of some of my replies and restricts my freedom of speech! I will let the people in the community respond to you on that topic.

Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac

Columbia Valley RCMP