Home Truck News Quebec enforcement officers see increase in aggression - Truck News

Quebec enforcement officers see increase in aggression – Truck News

Around 2 p.m. on the afternoon of March 21, a Quebec highway traffic control officer had trouble with an aggressive individual.

Kicked in the knee and thrown into the right lane of Highway 15 North, near Saint-Jérôme, she could have been struck to death if road users had not respected the safety corridor which protects the surrounding area from emergency vehicles.

AR-15 found in car
This AR-15 type assault rifle was seized during a traffic stop. (Photo: FCCRQ)

In an interview with Transport Routier, Jean-Claude Daignault, president of the Fraternity of Highway Control Constables of Quebec (FCCRQ), explains that it is precisely the failure to respect this safety corridor which is at the origin of the altercation.

A colleague of the agent had stopped a truck for a routine intervention. The controller decided to position herself in front of the stopped vehicles in order to check compliance with the safety corridor.

“There is a vehicle that starts honking its horn and does not change lanes as required by law, and [its driver] gives the finger with its arms in the air to the traffic controller who intercepted the truck,” says Daignault of the driver of a large van.

When the officer noticed that the offending vehicle had a commercial registration (“F” plate), she decided to intercept it since this category of vehicle falls within the mandate of road inspectors.

The driver took his time before pulling over, despite the patrol car’s flashing lights warning him to do so. The officer then got out of her car and approached him.

“The person did not want to identify himself, did not want to hand over his driving licence. He didn’t want to know anything. At one point, he wanted to leave the scene even though the officer had told him that he was under arrest for refusing to identify himself. When he wanted to leave, she managed to grab him and that’s when it degenerated,” explains Daignault.

The suspect complained that traffic controllers did not have the authority to intercept him because he was not towing a trailer.

The Sureté du Québec (SQ) was called to the scene and took charge of the individual, who had been handcuffed by traffic controllers after the scuffle. Cayenne pepper had to be used to control him.

Controle Routier patrol car
(Photo: Controle Routier)

At the SQ, Sergeant Ève Brochu-Joubert specifies that the suspect is a 31-year-old man who lives in Ste-Sophie, in the St-Jérôme sector in the Basses-Laurentides. After his arrest, he was released on a promise to appear in court. “He could face charges of assault on a peace officer as well as breach of conditions,” said the police officer.

Two knives were found in his vehicle. One on the dashboard near the steering wheel and the other between the seats. However, he did not use these weapons during the fight.

The traffic control officer, a woman in her 30s, was transported to St-Jérôme hospital to have her dislocated knee treated. She was discharged that evening but will have to stay away from work for at least six weeks.

90% of truckers friendly

According to Daignault, truckers who interact with controllers generally show courtesy and cooperate with them.

“I have intercepted a lot of truckers and, honestly, the vast majority are decent, friendly people who are trying to earn a living,” says the man who has patrolled Quebec roads for more than 30 years.

He estimates that out of the hundred thousand interventions carried out at weigh stations or by patrol car each year, only around a third result in a report of an infraction, which attests to the compliance of the majority.

More cases of aggression

But the small percentage of real criminals are showing more aggression than in the past.

“We have more and more. Two of my members were injured in the last month,” said the president of the FCCRQ, adding that his greatest fear is that one of his members could be killed in the exercise of their duties.

“Since the pandemic, we have seen an upsurge in belligerent behavior. During the pandemic we had some truck drivers who spit on their driving licences, who coughed on us on purpose to intimidate us by saying ‘I’m going to give you Covid-19’,” says Daignault.

He adds he has seized prohibited weapons several times in the course of his duties, including an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle during an operation in Beauce. A handgun was also concealed in the vehicle.

“The person had a gun within reach,” added the traffic controller.

Credit: Source link


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