It has been seven years since four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was killed by an alcohol-impaired driver. In that time the police, her family and their supporters have worked tirelessly to make British Columbia’s roads safer for everyone – and they are.
Since new measures to combat drinking and driving in B.C. were enacted in 2010, the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) has been successful in helping reduce the alcohol-related death toll on B.C.’s roads by 52 per cent, saving an estimated 238 lives. In that time, Alexa’s Team members have processed more than 66,000 sanctions for alcohol and drug related driving offences. Alexa’s Team is a program that recognizes RCMP and Municipal police officers that make an extraordinary contribution in reducing the number of alcohol and drug affected drivers on the roads of our communities.
Since 2008 Alexa’s Team members have processed more than 66,000 impaired driving sanctions for alcohol and drug related driving offences. The total number of Alexa’s Team members has grown from 26 to 1,617, and includes officers from all regions of the province.
2014 Alexa’s Team members include Barriere RCMP Cst. Jesse Wilkins who took a total of 32 impaired drivers off the road that year. Wilkins was also recognized in 2013 as a member of Alexa’s Team.
Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s Mother and Road Safety Advocate says, “As a family, we have been pleased to recognize our police officers, these unsung heroes who have made a difference each and every day. It has been an honour to be immersed in the Alexa’s Team events, and collaborate and plan with the many partners for public safety in our province. 2015 marks the 7th year since Alexa passed, and we thought it time to step to the sidelines, focussing on our family and its healing, thus affording opportunity for others to grab the proverbial torch. Recognition of the police by the community it serves is important, and there are other families that may want to enter this arena of formally thanking these wonderful people. The Middelaer family will always support policing, and we look forward to maintaining the 50 per cent reduction in impaired related fatalities in our province through education, enforcement and recognition. Let’s keep this up, and sincere thanks to Alexa’s Team 2014.”
“I want to acknowledge and thank all those officers, from across the province, who have become part of Alexa’s Team. Their contribution to the fight against impaired driving is to be commended. The sad part of acknowledging them for their great work is the fact that there are still those who choose to drive while impaired. The death of Alexa sparked a province to action, unfortunately her death is also a sobering reminder of the consequences of impaired driving,” said RCMP, OIC E-Division Traffic, Supt. Denis Boucher.
Alexa’s Team announced recently they are pleased to welcome MADD Canada as an official supporter. MADD Canada is a national charitable organization dedicated to stopping impaired driving and supporting victims of this violent crime. MADD Canada and its 17 B.C. Chapters and Community Leaders work closely with police to reduce impaired driving through the Alexa’s Bus initiative, the RID 911 program which encourages the public to call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers, and other public awareness and education campaigns.