There is some good news that came from the RCMP regarding Sturgis North and the traffic stops/check stops that they were running - then there is my impression of the two officers I spoke to.

First let's deal with the good news!

There were 145 tickets issued by the RCMP during their check stops and of those 21 tickets were issued to motorcyclists. Of those 21 tickets, 7 were for beanies/non DOT helmets.

Sgt. Fraser of the Traffic Enforcement Division of the North Okanagan RCMP expressed that he was not sure what the other 14 tickets were for.

There were 81 warnings issued and of them only 6 were to motorcycles.
There were 4 - 90 day suspensions issued - Sgt Fraser was not sure if any of those warnigs went to motorcyclists.

So - all in all not too bad - seems most riders were legal and behaving!

Now - I spoke to two officers, Sgt. Evans and Sgt Fraser.

Sgt. Fraser was a very nice person to talk to.  He questioned me as to why so many riders were wearing their beanies and yet carried a DOT helmet in their packs.  I expressed to him that there were a number of reasons for that. Firstly most people in BC who wear beanies, grew up wearing them. Number 2, they carried the DOT ones so that their bikes would not be towed. Number 3 as adults and taxpayers, many resent having their choice taken away - let's face it as an adult you should have the choice to determine what level of risk is acceptable to you. 4, many riders have expressed that they would rather die than be in a wheelchair.  And number 5 that many resent that helmets are legislated but it is OK to wear bikinis, flip flops, shorts etc.  All that a helmet does is give a family a pretty face for an open casket funeral.  There is very little common sense to the law and there was no real consultation with the motorcycle community.

Sgt Fraser said "Look if we didn't have public health care maybe it wouldn't be an issue", my response was obesity is a huge health care issue as are many other lifestyle choices, so sir, I don't feel your argument holds much weight.  He agreed to disagree.

We discussed the stops of the charity poker runs and I asked him why were these runs stopped and he expressed that since all of the stops were at pubs where liquor is their primary item for sale and food is secondary that there is the need to ensure that motorcyclists who are vulnerable road users and need to have sharp perceptions and skills that the they stopped the runs. It was, in his opinion about road safety for all motorists. Fair enough.  But I asked him do you know how much alcohol was served? Did anyone get tickets? He did not know how much alcohol the pubs actually served and he believed that no one was given a ticket for alcohol and that only a few for helmets and handlebars.

We discussed what would it take to have the rides be stopped less or at least not stopped roadside and he expressed that rides of any size could and will be stopped but it could be arranged to have one of the poker run stops be where the check is done and that it would be helpful if a Sgt at arms or a road captain ensured that everyone had DOT helmets on and that their paperwork was in order. Apparently one person had an expired license!

He also recommended that stops not be at pubs and that perhaps if the pubs were sponsors and really wanted to expose their businesses to the riding community that they have tents outside, host coffee, juice, pop and water and perhaps a BBQ. That would ease the mind of the RCMP regarding road safety, however that would not guarantee the rides would not be stopped but would make stops much faster.

The man was, as I said, easy to talk to and seemed to really want to promote safety. He came across as very sincere.  When I asked him about saddlebags being searched etc he expressed that he was unaware of that taking place and did not think his officers would have done that. I expressed that I was waiting on photos from Kimmi Cruz and some statements from CAV members regarding the stop of the veterans poker run and we agreed to talk again once I had the evidence of what the riders were claiming.

Now for Sgt. Evans.  This man was confrontational to say the least. His aggressive and defensive nature had me really needing to watch my tongue if I wanted to get any answers of any kind of sincerity.

We talked about the check stops and road blocks. He expressed that the citizens of the region were happy that the RCMP were stopping people in an effort to keep roads safe because there were three events in a small radius - the Metal Fest in Armstrong, Sturgis North and the Summer Stomp.  He expressed that ALL vehicles were stopped (He was in charge of the night time stops).  When I asked about the veterans ride being stopped and saddlebags being searched, he expressed that why shouldn't veterans be stopped after all the Hell's Angels started out that way and the Veterans Canada MC - a three piece patch veterans group that is under suspicion of having ties to the Hells Angels.

The man also expressed that there had been some deaths of riders earlier in the week and it caused the RCMP to heighten their vigilance for the check stops.

In fact throughout the entire province of BC there were electronic billboards stating that Drinking and Driving check stops were now on.

The Summer Stomp really brought out the ire of the Sgt Evans.  He was super angry that they had not gotten a liquor license. He expressed that the Stomp was advertised as a public BYOB party and that there was a blur of where the camping was and where drinking was allowed. He also expressed that they had violated their agreement to shut the music and noise down by midnight. He also expressed that since the agricultural land use committee had waived the no concerts or festivals/parties on agricultural land for the Stomp that he would be speaking with the council to have the use of this land taken away from Summer Stomp.  HMMMM.....this man was, as I said, the kind of officer that many said they experienced dealing with - rather arrogant, belittling and sarcastic and quite rude.
He was also VERY defensive.

Now the Biker Enforcement and Gang Task Force officers come under "E" Division control and that will be among my next calls but that will have to wait until I am back home at my office in Grande Prairie as I think that conversation is going to need to be recorded and I am quite sure that they will stonewall me and I do not want to ride angry!

There is a ton of news in the feeds today - check them out at where our work is keeping YOU informed!

I am planning on being in Rock Creek for the Boogie Bash, albeit for only a few hours and I am hoping to take in the Medicine Hat CMDRA Drag Races on Sunday - business stops and weather permitting.

Hope to see you on the highways and byways - RIDE SAFE PLEASE...

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

canadian bikers | belt drive betty

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Why do they have to mention a Veterans club as suspected???? Scare mongering and real bad rumors
    You are either a support club or not and to the best of my knowledge the Veterans MC are not a support club to anyone.................

    1. jeff staley5:05 PM

      Scare mongering, bad rumors, and out and out lies are part of the police tradecraft. told often enough they are percieved as truth by a large majority of the uninformed.this is a huge reason for us to make our (riders) voice be heard as loud and as often as possible...........jeff staley, salmon arm rider