Funeral procession driving leads to charges

ENFIELD: A funeral procession for Christopher “Kipper” McCulloch on Aug. 17 lead to several violations.

East Hants District RCMP responded to several complaints regarding unlicenced drivers and vehicles, including off road vehicles and stock car style race cars, on Highway 2 in Enfield.

Members responded and observed numerous ATVs and stock cars on a side street forming part of a procession that was headed towards the highway. Police stopped the procession and advised that ATVs are not permitted on roadways and stock cars must be licensed/insured prior to driving on the highway. The drivers were extremely cooperative and members proceeded to guide the licenced vehicles when approximately 25 vehicles nearby on the highway began squealing tires on the pavement. The resulting thick smoke created zero visibility for motorists, and flying rocks and debris from the roadway was extremely dangerous for the numerous pedestrians in the area.

Police immediately intervened and three vehicles were seized. All three male drivers from East Hants were charged with Stunting. An officer attempted to pull over an ATV for driving recklessly, however the ATV driver drove into oncoming traffic, did a wheely and then drove off.

Police continue to attempt to identify the driver.

“Our initial response was peaceful and respectful however things turned chaotic extremely quickly,” says Cpl. Dal Hutchinson, Nova Scotia RCMP. “Our members number one priority is the safety and security of citizens and this erratic driving behavior was putting motorists, pedestrians and police officers in danger.”

Cpl. Hutchinson adds, “We will continue our efforts to identify and charge others involved.”

A stunting violation can include a variety of offences; driving 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit, driving without due care or attention and attempting to spin a vehicle. The fine for stunting in Nova Scotia is $2,422.50. Licenses can also be suspended for seven days.

Further charges are expected, including dangerous driving.

Many have been saying online and to other media outlets that they had permission from the municipality to hold the event, a release was circulated from officials at the Municipality of East Hants offering clarification.

“The organizers, who spoke only of an intended “procession”, contacted the municipal office. The municipality referred the party to the province and the RCMP. The RCMP were also contacted and informed of an intended procession, but no indication that it involved non-registered vehicles or that a road closure (permit required) was to be involved. As everyone is aware, funeral processions occur frequently and do not require a permit as there is no road closure and the vehicles are all licensed for the road,” said the release.

“The municipality does not have jurisdiction over Provincial roads and does not issue permits or otherwise give permission for parades or other such activities that close a public road. Permits for such use of roads come from the Province. It is the municipality’s understanding that no permit was issued for the procession held last week in Enfield and the #2 Highway was not closed to traffic. The RCMP responded when public complaints started coming in that non-registered vehicles were on the roads in Enfield.

“The RCMP agreed to escort the procession down one side of the open road on the understanding that non-registered vehicles were not to be on the road. Further, the RCMP have full jurisdiction to deal with illegal activities such as stunting and dangerous driving and to take action where public safety is of concern, in this case the potential for loss of control of a vehicle and projectiles causing injury to bystanders.”

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Abby Cameron
Abby Cameron is the Editor of The Weekly Press and the Laker. She grew up in Shubenacadie and loves serving her home community. She has been with The Weekly Press for almost 10 years. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, coaching, and spending time with her partner and two dogs.