For almost 20 years, our provincial traffic operations have been known as E Division Traffic Services or BC RCMP Traffic Services.
To clarify the role of our program and concisely define our service delivery on BC’s provincial highways, provincial traffic operations will be now called: BC Highway Patrol. We believe this new name more clearly distinguishes our role and service delivery from the municipal and detachment traffic services.
Our goal is to change driver behaviour so they make better, safer choices. We want to make our roads safer for all road users – drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
With our new name of BC Highway Patrol, we have a new motto: Making Our Highways Safer Together.
You will begin to see our traffic vehicles with the familiar RCMP crest and our new identity of BC Highway Patrol or BCHP.
BC Highway Patrol will continue to conduct traffic enforcement, and criminal collision investigations involving serious injury and death on BC’s provincial highways.
Our role is as much about education as it is about enforcement.
BC Highway Patrol has about 455 dedicated employees across BC who conduct traffic law enforcement, public education and work closely with our internal and external partners. To support our mandate, BC Highway Patrol has a number of specialized units, each focussed on different aspects of road safety:
1. BC Highway Patrol
This is the overarching program for road safety on the highways. BC Highway Patrol officers conduct traffic enforcement and criminal fatal collision investigations on provincial highways. We are also involved in education, tactical enforcement and quality criminal collision investigation using a multi-faceted and intelligence-led policing model.
2. Integrated Road Safety Unit or IRSU
This group has traffic enforcement officers from the RCMP and municipal police agencies across the province. They conduct strategic traffic enforcement in high collision areas in an effort to reduce the number of serious injury and fatal collisions.
IRSU focuses on the high-risk driving behaviours, such as impaired driving, distracted driving, and aggressive or high risk driving which contribute to serious injury and fatal crashes on our roadways.
3. Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service or CARS
CARS members are responsible for investigating the forensic aspect of all vehicle collisions that result in serious injury or death in the RCMP detachment areas outside the Lower Mainland.
Collision Analysts and Reconstructionists are qualified to give expert evidence regarding the technical aspects of causal factors of collisions.
4. Integrated Impaired Driving Unit or IIDU
The IIDU is comprised of both RCMP and municipal police agencies. Their mandate is to oversee impaired driving programs, including the training and development of BC police officers with respect to Impaired Driving Investigations, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) certification, Approved Screening Devices (ASD) for potential alcohol impairment, and Oral Fluid Devices for potential drug impairment.
5. Traffic Safety Unit Police Dog Service
This team assists police officers to recognize the indicators of traveling criminals and to detect those traveling with contraband as they travel the highways of BC.
6. Prohibited Driving Enforcement Team or PDET
The Prohibited Driving Enforcement Team was created to target chronic high-risk, prohibited drivers on our roadways because they pose a significant risk to the motoring public.
PDET uses a variety of effective enforcement options including surveillance and the ALPR (Automated Licence Plate Reader). They work closely with detachments and municipal police agencies on Joint-Force Operations.
7. Police Motorcycle Program
This group provides police motorcycle training and recertification to police officers engaged in traffic enforcement duties, including officers from RCMP Detachment traffic units and municipal police agency traffic units.
They provide specialized motorcycle police escort training to qualified officers who have met the prerequisites so that they can provide motorcycle escorts for VIPs, dignitaries, heads-of-state visiting BC and in some cases provide escorts for special events.
8. Mobile Road Safety Unit (Alexa’s Bus)
Many of you will be familiar with the Alexa’s Bus program. It was borne from tragedy, which led to a collaborative effort between government, police, communities and the Middelaer family whose 4-year old daughter Alexa was killed by an impaired driver.
Alexa’s Bus is a fully contained police detachment on wheels that attends events throughout the BC and has three important purposes: Enforcement, Education, and Awareness. Alexa’s Bus is also used as a Mobile Command Post for various events across the Province.
The goal of this unit is to remove impaired drivers from our roads and reduce the number of impaired driving fatalities in BC.