Bears dining on dandelions prompt stopping ban along Hwy. 93 east of Radium Hot Springs

Map illustrating the No Stopping Zone along Highway 93S, east of Radium Hot Springs, that will go into effect on May 5 in response to bear activity. (Parks Canada)

Motorists will not be permitted to stop along a section of Highway 93 South in Kootenay National Park as part of an effort to protect both wildlife and people.

As of Wednesday, a 'No Stopping Zone' will be in effect along a 15-kilometre stretch of the B.C. highway east of the village of Radium Hot Springs as grizzly and black bears dine on spring vegetation including dandelions.

The zone encompasses the area between the McKay Operations Centre to the west and Settler's Road to the east. Bear warnings are in effect and all public washrooms within the restricted zone are closed.

The annual restriction along Highway 93 South will be lifted once bear populations move to higher elevations in search of additional sources of food.

In addition to the stopping restrictions, bear activity has prompted the closure of the Olive Lake day-use area.

Violators of the stopping ban may face $115 tickets, mandatory court appearances or a maximum fine of $25,000.

Anyone who spots wildlife in Kootenay National Park is encouraged to report the sighting to Parks Canada dispatch at 403-761-1470.