Friday, January 09, 2009

Just call them the Radar Rangers!

B. C.'s Forest service roads will be a little safer this year as Forest Rangers add radar guns to their collection of work related items, all in a bid to enforce the laws in the back roads of British Columbia's forests.

Clearly the work load has come a long way and added many more duties from the carefree days of the Forest Rangers of the past, a time when the job featured less speed and more nature, at least if we use this helpful guide from the sixties as an indication.

The Friday Daily News outlined the new job descriptions for those that watch over the woods.

Forest Rangers to keep an eye on road safety
In addition to watching over the woods they'll clamp down on speed
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Friday, January 09, 2009

Page Five

Forest Rangers will now have another job to do while fighting forest crime in B.C. woods: speed enforcement.

Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced the new crime-fighting tool yesterday; promising 10 radar guns would be handed out to three forest districts around the province.
"Better speed enforcement on B.C.'s 59,000-kilometre network of Forest Service roads means more drivers returning home safely at the end of the workday," said Bell.

"Expanding the use of radar guns is another step toward improving safety for forest workers and the public."

Bell said the speed limit is 80 kilometres an hour on most forestry service roads and that the new radar guns were to help ensure a users slow down.

Previously, speed enforcement tended to be localized and focused on high risk, high traffic roads. However, following a pilot project last summer in Powell River, ministry Compliance and Enforcement Officers will now practice speed enforcement on a daily basis, province-wide.

The ministry will then work in co-operation with the RCMP to train two to three Compliance and Enforcement Officers per district, for each of the 29 forest districts, in their proper use. In conjunction with radar guns, the ministry will also place three speed boards, one per region, in different locations around the province to increase drivers' awareness of their speed. The RCMP, ICBC and Conservation Office Service support the program.

"Initially, the main focus is to improve compliance and safe driving practices through education and awareness," said Bell. "But make no mistake, officers are empowered to give tickets and chronic, repeat offenders could be subject to fines of up to $1 million for speeding and dangerous driving on a Forest Service road."

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