A no stopping zone is in effect just east of Field in Yoho National Park in order to ensure the safety of both humans and wildlife, according to Parks Canada.
The no stopping zone is a result of bears coming dangerously close to the highway. Documented reports of unsafe parking and traffic jams, combined with multiple grizzly and black bears focussed on finding food, make this measure necessary says Parks Canada.
The no stopping zone allows bears to feed undisturbed and prevents traffic congestion that is dangerous for both bears and people.
A 6 kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Sherbrooke Creek near the Alberta/B.C. border and Yoho Valley Road will be affected by the zone, with the exception of the Spiral Tunnels day-use area.
A bear warning as also been issued for the village of Field, with Parks Canada urging residents and visitors to take extra caution due to increased bear activity.
The no stopping zone will remain in effect until bears move away from the highway, as food becomes more plentiful at higher elevations.
Parks Canada wildlife officers and Park Wardens will routinely patrol the area to ensure motorists are complying with the no stopping zone. Parks Canada and the RCMP have the ability to lay charges if motorists are not in compliance with the no stopping zone.
Penalties for violations range from a $115 ticket to a mandatory court appearance and maximum fine of $25,000.
Parks Canada is committed to protecting bears and people. Many bears are feeding on spring vegetation along this 6 km stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Wildlife sightings and wildlife incidents should be reported to Parks Canada Dispatch at 403-762-1470.
Feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited in national parks.
For more information about how to observe wildlife safely, visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/mtn-bears.