West Shore RCMP were on Ocean Boulevard on Thursday with the help of Alexa’s Bus

Alexa’s Bus aids counter-attack efforts

RCMP use high-tech vehicle to help catch impaired drivers

West Shore RCMP and the Capital Regional District Integrated Road Safety Unit (CRD IRSU) were out in full force last week targeting impaired drivers.

This time they hit the streets with Alexa’s Bus, a custom-built mobile road safety unit that is fully equipped to collect evidence and process impaired drivers at roadside locations.

Officers used the bus for enforcement at two different locations last week. These efforts saw one Criminal Code impaired by drug charge, one 24 hour prohibition, one prohibited driver, and one driver caught without insurance. There were also eight ticketed violations and seven warnings issued.

“It’s a 33-foot-long mobile billboard,” said West Shore RCMP spokesman Const. Alex Berube. “It’s hard to miss.”

He hoped the bus acted as tool for prevention and a reminder to not drive while impaired.

Four-year-old Delta resident Alexa Middelaer was struck and killed by a drunk driver while feeding a horse on the side of the road back in 2008. Alexa’s aunt, who was also hit at the time, was severely injured and left permanently disabled.

In 2011, the Middelaer family launched a fundraising campaign to purchase the state-of-the-art mobile road unit known as Alexa’s Bus. The vehicle is painted red in one corner and blue in another, blending to purple in the middle, which was Alexa’s favourite colour.

The bus features the most advanced blood-alcohol screening technology, a dark room for evaluating suspected drug-impaired drivers, three mobile computer workstations, two private rooms for suspects to contact legal counsel, a GPS tracking alarm system, video surveillance and a recording system.

The bus is powered by a hybrid electrical system and a backup clean diesel generator. It also has a solar-charging system on the roof. Alexa’s Bus is a requested service that is shared among RCMP units across B.C.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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