Vanderhoof police enforcement on impaired driving up over last two years

As of September 2016, Vanderhoof’s local RCMP detachment exceeded their yearly goals of impaired driving charges by 200 per cent.

As of September 2016

As of September 2016, Vanderhoof’s local RCMP detachment exceeded their yearly goals of impaired driving charges by 200 per cent. Numbers include both criminal code charges and immediate roadside prohibitions.

Rather than there being more impaired drivers on the road this year, detachment commander Sgt. Svend Nielsen attributes the higher numbers to the proactive work of the police.

“Investigations have improved along with our members’ knowledge, allowing them to recognize drivers better and quicker than we used to,” Nielsen said, adding that officers continue to exceed goals despite the target number of charges being 20 per cent higher than last year. “It’s impressive to see the sharp increase, especially with our detachment comprised of mostly junior officers and previously being short-staffed.”

Active enforcement included spot checks and road blocks, but general patrols and observations by officers yielded more success. No minimum numbers are required for police officers’ each shift, Nielsen said.

In 2015, Vanderhoof’s Cst. Justine Ramsay pulled 13 impaired drivers off the road to join the RCMP’s Alexa’s Team, which recognizes police officers across B.C. for their commitment to fight drinking and driving in the province.

The program, created in 2009, is a partnership between the Middelaer family, BCAA Road Safety Foundation and ICBC — in honour of four-year-old Alexa Middelaer who was killed by an alcohol-impaired driver in Delta in 2008. This year so far, another Vanderhoof police officer is close to meeting the required goal to be part of Alexa’s Team.

Ramsay, in her third year as part of the RCMP, is also the only certified drug recognition expert in the area, covering Vanderhoof as well as Burns Lake, Fort St. James, and Prince George. Her expertise lies in the ability to recognize an individual’s symptoms of drugs use based on behaviour. Along with the detachment’s corporals who have a strong background in impaired driving investigations, Ramsay is one of the detachment’s three intoximeter operators, Nielsen said.

For overall traffic enforcement this year, the police has a target of about 400 violation tickets — a 10-per-cent increase from the previous year. The goal is already met by the end of November, four months until the financial year ends in March. The percentage increase for target numbers were lower than the previous year, as the RCMP made steep improvement in 2015 — traffic-related charges increase by over 50 per cent from 2014, Nielsen said.

“We take road safety seriously,” he said. “To improve these numbers is to improve the safety of the community.”

Just Posted

MOU between UNBC and Nechako Lakes School District#91

Celebration of ongoing educational partnership and programming collaboration

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers are using aerial drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in the province

Peaceful protest ‘Drumming out drugs’

Welfare day message outside banks to drug dealers and addicts

Mayors meet with B.C. Premier

Roundtable with John Horgan to discuss northern issues

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Most Read