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.
RCMP efforts to remove drivers affected by alcohol and drugs, as well as driving infractions and safety reasons should be commended.
Take for example in the Penticton detachment where Const. Brad Caruso was recently designated an Alexa’s Team all-star as one of the top impaired driving investigators in the province, having taken at least 34 criminally impaired drivers off the roads in 2014. As well, Const. Andrew Campbell and Const. Trevor Stetsko were nominated to Alexa’s Team.
The accolades are deserved, but at the same time it is also sad that we have to acknowledge them for their work of taking these drivers off the streets when the deadly consequences of impaired and reckless driving are so well known.
The RCMP two-day blitz with Alexa’s Bus, a mobile road safety unit that travels around the province, front and centre had some staggering results. Especially when you consider that it wasn’t a long weekend, there wasn’t any major event in Penticton that would draw large numbers of travellers to the area and that officers were pulled in from around the Interior to help.
Frightening to think what happens on the streets and highways when the bus is not here and the RCMP coverage is back to its normal size.
Do your part to keep the roads safe — plan ahead if your activities involve alcohol and arrange for a designated driver, call a taxi or take transit. Keep Alexa’s death in mind as a sobering reminder.