A motorcyclist caught speeding in Crowsnest Pass, Alta. earlier this month could be facing more than just a stiff fine when the case goes to court.
The unnamed driver was travelling westbound on Highway 3 just before dusk Oct. 7, when a community peace officer clocked the bike going 153 kilometres per hour in an 80 km/h zone.
“I was conducting patrols in the Frank Slide area at around 6:30 p.m. Observed two motorcycles coming at me. Both appeared to be travelling faster than the posted speed limit,” said Sgt. Brad Larsen with the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass. “Received a speed reading on the first of 101 kilometres per hour which, of course, is in excess of the 80.”
The second bike, a fair distance back but travelling at a high rate of speed, came up quickly.
“I could tell it was going way faster than the first. I re-engaged my radar and locked him in at 153 kilometres per hour,” Larsen said. “We can see on the radar the speed climbing, so had I not been there, had I not turned on lights, the speed would have continued to increase.”
To his credit, the motorcyclist did pull over once he knew he was caught. It was then the officer discovered the operator also had a suspended driver’s licence.
The first bike, clocked at 101 km/h, also pulled over. The driver was let off with a warning; his travelling companion not so much.
While an officer might give a bit of latitude, or a warning, this case was considerably more extreme.
“You’re coming into that area from a 100 to an 80 zone. As peace officers, we sort of recognize that, westbound, vehicles are decreasing their speed. We certainly don’t see them increasing,” Larsen said.
“Routinely, in this section of highway, we might see 95, 100. I think, personally, the highest I’ve ever seen is 108 or 110.”
“The speed has changed quite a ways east of the lights for the east Bellevue/Hillcrest access,” he added. “So, by the time you’re actually in the Frank Slide rocks, you should be well down to a speed of 80K.”
Any chance of a motorcyclist being hurt or worse also hits close to home for the community peace officer, who saw a family friend lost in a motorcycle crash.
For Larsen, incidents like these are worrisome.
“That particular area, especially at 6:30 at night … it’s a busy location, it was a Saturday, it’s getting dark sooner. Right now, we have a lot of hunters and traffic was not slow that night,” he said.
Add to that possible frost or ice and the danger is ramped up.
“I’ve been to multiple vehicle-versus-wildlife collisions in my three years with the Crowsnest Pass, and maybe two or three involving motorcycles,” Larsen said. “The mechanism of injury is so much higher on a motorcycle, specifically when the speeds are higher.”
“That person [a speeder] is not only taking their own lives into their hands, but if he/she crosses the centre line or swerves to avoid something like a moose or deer, ends up putting the other vehicle at high risk,” the officer added.
“You obviously never want to see that. It’s a scary thing. I was obviously in the right place at the right time.”
By Dave Lueneberg, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Oct 26, 2023 at 12:31