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Long weekend means slow go for drivers, ferry-goers

Expect a slow go if travelling by ferry or car this B.C. Day long weekend. The sun’s out and shining, it’s busy out there.

Last night, BC Ferries said all sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay and Duke Point are fully booked up for today (Friday), with no availability until after 3:00 pm tomorrow.

Monday sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen are already sold out from 10:00 am onwards, with sailings from Duke Point to Tsawwassen sold out between 10:45 am and 8:15 pm.

But ferry crews were prepared for a jump in customer traffic, long line-ups, and wait times.

Earlier this week, BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told Vista Radio that the B.C. Day weekend is historically the busiest of the year.

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For those hopping aboard, Marshall said it’s ‘always a good idea’ to book in advance, adding it’s important that ferry-goers arrive early, 45 to 60-minutes before departure. Mobile ‘Easy Check-In’ is also available.

“We do expect to be busy at our terminals, so there will be some congestion. If you give yourself plenty of time, it’ll make for smooth sailing,” Marshall noted.

With this in mind, it’s important that drivers don’t rush to the ferry line.

ICBC is urging drivers to share the road safely, whether travelling far or staying local. They say roadways will be ‘much busier’ than usual this weekend, increasing the chance of collisions.

The auto-insurer says, on average, 65 people are injured in 300 crashes on Vancouver Island every B.C. Day long weekend. Province-wide, numbers climb to an average of 600 injuries in 2,100 crashes.

To help drivers stay safe, ICBC is offering some tips: Do a ‘pre-trip check’ and check your engine oil, coolant levels and lights, and inspect vehicle tires; make sure any camping or outdoor equipment is securely tied down; be aware of motorcyclists; and be patient with RV drivers.

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