Officer on Alexa’s Team for a third year

For the third year, an RCMP police officer in Prince Rupert is being acknowledged for her road safety initiative.

Const. Virgina Bessette of the Prince Rupert RCMP has been on Alexa's Team for three years.

For the third year, an RCMP police officer in Prince Rupert is being acknowledged  for her road safety initiative.

Between Const. Virginia Bessette and Const. Jae Kim, a total of 39 impaired drivers were taken off the road in 2015 and due to their efforts both police officers were included in the provincial program called Alexa’s Team.

Alexa’s Team began in 2008, after four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was struck and killed by a drunk driver while feeding a horse in rural residential area in south Surrey.

Alexa’s aunt was also hit but she survived the incident. Alexa’s parents were nearby and came after the crash.

“We saw the aftermath of everything, which is really hard to see and that’s why when we recognize these police officers we understand that they do see the underbelly and they do see tragic events like this,” said Alexa’s mother, Laurel.

When the family learned that drinking and driving was the cause of the accident they worked to change the laws to keep impaired drivers off the road.

“We were able to work with government and assist with the implementation of the IRP (immediate roadside prohibition) program, which gave officers an immediate roadside consequence for drivers who blew to fail,” she said.

The IRP program minimizes court time and the driver faces immediate consequences for blowing to fail (over 0.08), including a 90-day driving ban, $500 fine, 30-day vehicle impoundment and more.

The total cost would be $4,060 for the driver.

When a police officer in B.C. takes 12 or more drivers off the road for impaired driving they are included in Alexa’s Team and recognized for their service.

“In any community drinking and driving is such a selfish act and you’re not just going out there with the potential of hurting yourself you can hurt anybody and so many people get seriously injured or killed in drinking and driving incidences,” Const. Bessette said. “It’s avoidable, just take a cab or walk.”

When Laurel and her family launched Alexa’s Team and pushed to have the laws changed they set a family goal of a 35 per cent reduction of impaired driving related deaths. In the past two years, there has been a 52 per cent reduction in alcohol-related driving fatalities.

Since Alexa’s Team was created in 2008, there police officer membership has grown from 26 to 1,639 new and returning RCMP and Municipal police officers from across the province.

Just Posted

City of Prince Rupert foots the bill for armed RCMP officers at Alaska ferry terminal, two trips scheduled

Two temporary voyages between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan added to AMHS schedule in Oct. and Nov.

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

LETTER: How do you like these NDP apples MLA Rice?

Prince Rupert District Teachers’ responds to MLA Jennifer Rice’s letter regarding union rally

HAMILTON: Something was wrong — really wrong, but there is hope

Hamilton shares a defining moment in his life for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Spotlight on B.C.: Liberals need at least 10 B.C. ridings to take the election

Black Press Media presents a four-part series into how B.C. will affect the federal election outcome

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Anti-pipeline protestors clash with supporters at North Matters event in Smithers.

The event was organized by The North Matters (TNM) and billed as a non-political event

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read