BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation



    Honours Police Officers as Members of "Alexa's Team"

    BURNABY, BC, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is
honouring 26 police officers from Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for
their diligence in removing impaired drivers from the roads of our
communities.
    These officers will become part of Alexa's Team in remembrance of Alexa
Middelaer who lost her life at age four and a half after being run down by a
vehicle driven by an individual suspected of being impaired at the time.
    Alexa's Team is made up of members of the RCMP and Municipal Police
Departments in the region who have, in the previous year, forwarded to Crown a
total of 399 full impaired driving charges in addition to issuing 1,328
24-Hour Prohibitions and Administrative Driving Prohibitions under Section 215
of the Motor Vehicle Act.
    On May 17, 2008 at approximately 5:00 p.m. a northbound vehicle traveling
in the 4300 block of 64th Street in Delta lost control and left road, struck a
parked car and careened into two pedestrians and a horse. On that day,
four-year-old Alexa Renée Middelaer died after being hit by that car. Her
grandparents sustained emotional shock and injury, and her aunt who was
standing with her by the side of the horse paddock is recovering from life
threatening injuries.
    A 56-year old Delta woman has been charged with impaired driving causing
bodily harm and death, and two charges of dangerous driving causing bodily
harm and death.
    "Our family had very high expectations of the police, and those
expectations have been met with due diligence and charges being laid," stated
Laurel Middelaer, the mother of four-year old Alexa. "We appreciate the just
approach and commitment displayed by those members that were involved in the
investigation."
    "I am personally very pleased and impressed with this work that members
of the Lower Mainland police are doing to charge impaired drivers with full
criminal code charges" stated Allan Lamb, executive director of the BCAA
Traffic Safety Foundation. "The death of Alexa Middelaer and many others are
not accidents. Those deaths and injuries are the result of negligent
behaviour."
    "Knowing that 80% of impaired drivers come from private functions where
others should have known their friend or family member was about to drive
impaired should send a message to all of us that we can and must stop this
carnage" added Lamb who emphasizes that responsibility is the issue.
    Acknowledging the recent rash of gang violence, Lamb also noted that four
times as many people die in traffic crashes than as a result of all homicides
and murders, thus the need to have police working on this front as well. Lamb
cited Transport Canada statistics that show impaired drivers cost the B.C.
economy $1.6 billion per year, not including the cost of police, ambulance or
courts.
    The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is proud to recognize these officers
for their exceptional work on the impaired driving front. For more information
about the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation and how you can help fight impaired
driving visit www.bcaatsf.ca.

    About BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

    The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is a non-profit registered charity
working with families, communities and business partners to reduce the number
and severity of traffic crashes and injuries in B.C. For more information
visit www.BCAATSF.ca or call 604-298-5107.

    
                             DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES
                               www.BCAATSF.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Lennea Durant, Media Relations, BCAA Traffic
Safety Foundation, Tel: (604) 875-1182, E-mail: lenneadurant@shaw.ca; Allan
Lamb, Executive Director, BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, Tel: (604) 297-2151,
E-mail: allan.lamb@tsf-bcaa.com


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