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Boxing Day road congestion prompts people to call 9-1-1

Being stuck in busy boxing day traffic is not something you call 9-1-1 about. Unfortunately people have been doing it though.

Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Crawford says people have been calling the emergency lines today to get help for their traffic woes.  They often hope it will result in police coming to the congested area to help move traffic along.

“No problem with them calling the police, just don’t use 9-1-1 it’s for emergencies only. They are certainly welcome to call us on our main number.”

Crawford says if a dispatcher is on another call, they’ll put that call on hold to answer yours. “In the case where it’s not an emergency, not only is it tying the line up for someone that may be trying to get through on an actual emergency but the call takers attention is diverted from somebody else that’s already being dealt with.”

Crawford says police have been out all day at major shopping districts trying to deal with the traffic.