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

State of local financial crisis declared in Fort St. James

The District will have a job fair on July 31 to help workers find transitioning jobs

Regional real estate sales down so far in 2019

Real estate sales in the northwest and Bulkley-Nechako regions of British Columbia… Continue reading

Update: Severe thunderstorm watch upgraded to warning for Cariboo North including Quesnel

Potential for strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain in the afternoon

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Vanderhoof Clippers are working towards getting a booth rebuilt at the Arena

Terry Lazaruk, president of the club said they haven’t been able to host sanctioned meets due to the lack of a proper timing booth

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read