The Okanagan valley in central British Columbia is fighting back against impaired driving, and they recently had a secret weapon along to help them during checkpoints. Alexa’s Bus is a mobile safety unit created specifically to help police in their quest to stop impaired drivers, and it’s been cruising to various areas in British Columbia.
The bus was named for Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl who was killed in 2008 when she was struck by a drunk driver while feeding a horse on the side of the road. The woman who killed Alexa was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison and was released in 2014 after serving 18 months.
It’s a tragedy when any child dies, and even more tragic when it happens due to something as senseless as impaired driving. That’s where the idea for Alexa’s bus came into play. Through a partnership between the community, police force, and British Columbia’s government, the idea came to create a mobile unit in her memory in that would enhance the fight against drunk driving and create awareness in areas across BC.
Alexa’s bus is unique in many ways. It’s a large brightly coloured bus that’s hard to miss when it’s sitting on the side of the road. Inside it features:
- Advanced breath testing technology and a darkroom for drug impaired driver evaluations
- Computer workstations for filing police reports and two private rooms for impaired drivers to contact legal counsel
- Green technology including a hybrid electrical system and solar panels on the roof
It’s not just impaired drivers who are seeing the interior of the bus either. Curious bystanders are stopping and asking questions about the bus and are even taking photos with it, and police believe that helps spread awareness of the problem of drunk driving.
Now if you see Alexa’s Bus in your area, you’ll know the story behind it. Just seeing it is a good reminder of the importance of not getting behind the wheel after drinking.