Friday May 13, 2011

Local News

2 People Die Each Week In BC

RCMP working to stop road carnage from drunk drivers

Submitted by Lennae Durant, BCAA RSF

 

n April 27, 92 police officers from the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley were honoured

by the BCAA Road Safety Foundation as members of “Alexa’s Team” in recognition for their diligence in removing impaired drivers from the roads of our community. Thirty-six of those officers are from B.C.’s Fraser Valley communities.

Membership on “Alexa’s Team” recognizes police officers, both RCMP and Municipal Police, that have forwarded to Crown a minimum of 10 full impaired driving charges and/or issued 90-Day Driving Prohibitions under the new Immediate Roadside Prohibition sanctions. In addition, these members have issued thousands of 24 Hour, 3 Day and 7-Day Driving Prohibitions in 2010.

Since Alexa’s Team was formed three years ago the member officers have removed 18,810 drivers from the roads of B.C. whose ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was affected by alcohol or drugs.

Alexa’s Team was formed in remembrance of Alexa Renée Middelaer who lost her life in May 2008 at age four and a half after being run down by a vehicle driven by an impaired driver. Alexa’s grandparents sustained emotional shock and physical injury and her aunt, who was standing with her by the side of the horse paddock, continues to recover from life threatening injuries.

A 56-year old woman from Delta has since been convicted of two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and death and two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and death.

“Approximately 150 people are killed each year in B.C. at the hands of impaired drivers. Many more suffer the loss of their loved ones for the rest of their lives.” stated Inspector Ted Emanuels, Operations Officer for the R.C.M.P. Lower Mainland District Traffic Services, “The proud members of Alexa’s Team are dedicated traffic, general duty and patrol officers from throughout B.C. who have made the reduction of impaired driving fatalities and injuries a personal challenge. They continue to demonstrate a commitment to removing both alcohol and drug impaired drivers from our roadways to make B.C. a safer place for all of us.”

Since 2008 the foundation has honoured 419 officers from around the province.

“Knowing that impaired driving is the number one cause of criminal death in B.C., knowing that on average 2 British Columbians die each week due to impaired driving, and knowing that this is how our four year old daughter was killed is almost unbelievable, and I am sure that everyone reading this would concur,” stated Laurel Middelaer, the mother of four-year old Alexa. “There are hundreds of families in B.C. that share our experience. As a family we choose to look for solutions. We are working with others to make this province and this country safer.”

The Middelaer family, along with the BCAA Road Safety Foundation and Surrey City Mayor Dianne Watts recently kicked of the Alexa’s Bus campaign with an initial goal of raising $250,000 to bring a mobile impaired driving testing unit to B.C.

“Like Alexa’s Team, Alexa’s Bus is another means to deter impaired drivers through education or enforcement,” stated Allan Lamb, executive director of the BCAA Road Safety Foundation. “The mobile units are in use around the world and have proven to be effective tools for police enforcing impaired driving laws.”

Lamb noted that significantly more people die in traffic crashes than as a result of all homicides and murders, and that the majority of impaired drivers who are over the .08 legal limit come from licenced premises.

Lamb also cited Transport Canada statistics that show impaired drivers cost the B.C. economy $1.6 billion per year, primarily health, police and court costs.

The BCAA Road Safety Foundation is proud to recognize these officers for their exceptional work on the impaired driving front. For more information about the BCAA Road Safety Foundation and how you can help fight impaired driving visit www.bcaatsf.ca

 

Representing the Fraser Valley:

Cst. Daniel Baldinger Abbotsford PD Traffic Section

Cst. Steve Fehr Abbotsford PD Traffic Section

Cpl. Kelly Joiner FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Dennis Mah FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Derek Quilley FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Gino Pagliericci FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Duane Hillier FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Ron Trimm FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Merv Byers FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. John McLellan FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Ed Knak FV IRSU - A Watch

Cst. Gord Ehrentraut FV IRSU - B Watch

Cst. Frank Townsley FV IRSU - B Watch

Cst. Steve Small FVTS

Cst. Owen Hazlewood FVTS

Cst. Simon Labine FVTS

Cst. Brian Eden HOPE RCMP

Cst. Mark Booth Langley Traffic Services *

Cst. Alison Lambie Langley Traffic Services

Cst. Robert Johnston Langley Traffic Services

Cst. Hayden Willems Langley Traffic Services

Cst. Brett Henderson Langley Traffic Services

Cst. Gaenor Cox Langley Detachment General Duty

Cst. Sukhwinder Parmar Langley Detachment General Duty

Cst. Samantha Audley Mission RCMP General Duty

Cst. Christine Day Mission RCMP General Duty

Cst. Phillip Paterson Mission RCMP Traffic Services

Cst. Joshua Becker Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. Todd Bozak Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. Daniel Carter Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. David Cowley Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. Blair Fuller Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. Michael Haider Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. Tyler Hilditch Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. Chris Rerup Port Mann Traffic Services

Cst. Roderick Carins Fraser Valley Traffic Services

* Note: Cst. Mark Booth is one of the top 25 impaired driving investigators in B.C. and has earned a position as an Alexa’s Team “All-Star” member for 2010.

Photos

Top Photo - Fraser Valley IRSU - Back Row (L to R) Cst. Gino PAGLIERICCI, Cpl. Kelly JOINER, Cst. Ron TRIMM, Cst. Duane HILLIER; Front Row (L to R) Cst. Merv BYERS, Cst. Derek QUILLEY, Cst. Dennis MAH

Middle Photo - Mission RCMP - (L to R) Cst. Samantha AUDLEY, Cst. Christine DAY, Cst. Phil PATERSON.

Bottom Photo - Langley RCMP - Back Row (L to R) Cst. Mark BOOTH, Cst. Alison LAMBIE, Cst. Sukhwinder PARMAR, Cst. Hayden WILLEMS; Front Row (L to R) Cst. Brett HENDERSON, Cst. Robert JOHNSTON

Laurel Middelaer, Alexa's mother, appears in all of the photos wearing a silver suite and a string of pearls.

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