Alexa’s Bus rolls out education and enforcement

Police Mobility Road Safety Unit has educated students and helped authorities to give penalties to drivers

Cpl. Jas Johal of the Penticton RCMP talks with students at Penticton Secondary School Wednesday inside the police Mobile Safety Unit better known as Alexa's Bus as part of the program's education component about impaired and distracted driving.

Education and enforcement was the order of business for Alexa’s Bus during its two-day visit to Penticton this week.

The police Mobile Road Safety Unit made stops at Penticton Secondary and Princess Margaret schools Wednesday and was on the road checking for impaired drivers Thursday afternoon and evening.

The bus is named after Alexa Renee Middelaer, the four-year-old Lower Mainland girl who was struck and killed by an impaired driver in 2008.

Alexa had been feeding a horse on the side of the road when she was hit and the image on the back of the bus, which contains holding cells, a breathalyzer and other enforcement tools, is of a little girl feeding a horse with a Mountie in the saddle.


Her story resulted in a turning point in the way impaired drivers are now dealt with in B.C.

Her legacy includes the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) which began in 2010 giving police the authority to automatically suspend licenses and the $300,000 mobile unit which Alexa’s parents helped generate support for.

Initially the goal of the mobile unit was to reduce related fatalities by 35 per cent in three years however that figure was far surpassed with the actual number being 52 per cent.

This was the second time the vehicle has been in this area, having been here last June.

Quick facts about the mobile unit:

• Under the IRP program, the penalties for a “warn” IRP (0.05 blood alcohol content and above) include the immediate seizure of a driver’s licence for at least three days, a possible three-day vehicle impoundment, and $200 administrative penalty.

• For a “fail” IRP (0.08 BAC and above), the penalties include the immediate seizure of a driver’s licence for 90 days, a 30-day vehicle impoundment, and $500 administrative penalty.

As of July 31, 2014:

• More than 72,200 IRPs have been issued since the program’s inception in September 2010.

• Of the total number of IRPs issued, over 25,700 drivers blew in the “warn” range and over 46,500 blew in the “fail” range, or refused to provide

a breath sample.

 

 

Just Posted

Ash falling in the Okanagan

Reports on social media of ashes on cars around the Okanagan

Highway 3A pot plant pulls application

A controversial cannabis production facility has withdrawn an application

Snowy Mountain fire travelling away from communities

The Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos remains at 13,359 hectares in size

Man dies in Penticton RCMP custody

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

Plethora of bike parts found at problem property

Penticton bylaw said parts for upwards of 80 bicycles uncovered at 377 Winnipeg Street

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former Shuswap optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Kelowna developer warns home buyers to look at more than the price tag

Kelowna developer Jeffrey Anderson wants first-time homeowners to look at more than the price tag.

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Most Read