The Victoria Electric Vehicle Association is apologizing after commuters mistook its member, who was carrying out an electric vehicle count, for a person in distress on the Helmcken Road pedestrian overpass.
On Wednesday morning, the association conducted its second annual spring electric vehicle count, which required its members to count every electric vehicle entering and exiting the city via the Trans-Canada Highway.
But when the vehicle counter was mistaken for someone trying to jump the railing, it caused temporary traffic delays on either side of the freeway and overpass, according to a Facebook post.
“Likely jumper over Helmeken Viaduct,” the post said to the Vancouver Island Breaking News & Info Facebook group, which sparked a flood of comments.
“Heartbreaking,” one person wrote. “So sad,” added another.
Police were called to the scene, but Cst. Meghan Groulx confirmed that it was in fact the EV Association member at work and that there was no public concern.
The count took place between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., and according to the Victoria EV Association, 1,728 electric vehicles were counted.
This represents around 18% of registered EVs in the capital region and represents a 70% increase in EV travel from last year’s 1,023 vehicles, the association said.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433. You can also visit them online.