Nine years later we still learn lessons from little Alexa

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members to 2,156

Nine years ago on a bright spring day, four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was killed by an alcohol-impaired driver, while feeding horses along the side of the road with her aunt.

Since then, police, her family and their many supporters have worked tirelessly to make B.C.’s roads safer for everyone through Alexa’s Team.

Officers are named to Alexa’s Team when they remove at least 12 drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol from the road.

Since 2008, Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members to 2,156 new and returning RCMP and municipal police officers from across the province.

It’s great that impared drivers are off the road. Sadly they were there to be stopped in the first place.

The annual celebration recently saw ICBC and MADD honour 60 members of the 2016 Alexa’s Team from Vancouver Island.

Nils Jensen attends the Island ceremony each year as mayor. Every time he’s touched by Alexa’s parents.

“I have two boys and I could not imagine what it would be like. It’s unfathomable. … It’s the kind of thing people need to keep being reminded of because people continue to be killed out there.”

Sadly that’s true, based on the frequency of impaired drivers appearing in the police blotter.

While they were working in other jurisdictions – and one was a member of the regional Integrated Roadside Safety Unit that focuses on impaired drivers at times – two Oak Bay officers made the team, taking 90 impaired drivers off the road.

While the accolades for local officers are well-deserved, at the same time, it is sad that their work is still necessary, when the deadly consequences of impaired driving are so well-known.

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