Burnaby, British Columbia – British Columbia is marking the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, November 17, and the BCAA is asking drivers to help in the fight against impaired driving. The day is set aside to remember those killed or seriously injured on Canadian roads, often in avoidable collisions, and those left to deal with the sudden and unexpected loss of the people they love.
“Impaired drivers are killing an average of two people and injuring 60 every week in B.C.,” said Allan Lamb, executive director of the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) Traffic Safety Foundation. Lamb said that the statistic has not changed significantly in the past five years, and is not surprising when one in five people in B.C. admits to driving after drinking.
The foundation will mark the day by remembering victims such as four-year-old Alexa Middelaer, who died of her injuries in May 2008 after being struck by a vehicle. The driver has been convicted of being impaired by alcohol. Shortly after Alexa’s death, the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation joined her parents in their fight to change the laws and social attitudes concerning impaired driving. This resulted in Alexa’s Team, a team of 175 police officers from around the province that removed over eight thousand impaired drivers from B.C. roads in 2009. In September, the provincial government instituted the toughest impaired driving penalties in the country.
The foundation and the Middelaer family are also working to bring mobile roadside breath testing units to B.C. that will allow police officers to process more impaired drivers on site.
Donations are accepted for the Alexa Middelaer Memorial Fund, with 100 per cent of donations going toward educating communities and individuals about the dangers of impaired driving. For more information, visitor call 604-298-5107.