Ridge Meadows Constable Gurpreeet Arora removed more impaired drivers from local roads than any other member of the RCMP who took party in Project Domino Effect. (Ronan O’Doherty - THE NEWS)

Ridge Meadows Constable Gurpreeet Arora removed more impaired drivers from local roads than any other member of the RCMP who took party in Project Domino Effect. (Ronan O’Doherty - THE NEWS)

Ridge Meadows RCMP initiative results in fewer impaired driving deaths

Project Domino Effect performed 553 impaired driving investigations in 2019

Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. Gurpreet Arora will never forget a night from four years ago when he had to be the bearer of bad news.

“I had to knock on someone’s door in the middle of the night to let them know that their son died in a crash,” he said at a press conference at Ridge Meadows RCMP headquarters Wednesday.

As a police officer, he said he knew why an elderly couple’s only son would never come home: it was a motor vehicle accident involving alcohol.

Today, Arora is one of 71 police officers involved in Project Domino Effect, a Ridge Meadows RCMP initiative to target impaired drivers and remove them from local roads. He is responsible for detecting 54 out of a combined 553 impaired drivers apprehended by the team in 2019.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows launch review of RCMP service

According to an RCMP press release, over an 11-month period between May 2017 and April 2018, the Ridge Meadows RCMP investigated seven fatal motor vehicle collisions where alcohol or drug impairment was a factor. Project Domino Effect was created by Supt. Jennifer Hyland as a tool to combat the rash of incidents.

“[It] was named because of the impact the decision to drive while impaired has on a community,” Hyland said.

“When someone loses a life, their family, their friends and the community as a whole suffers the impact.

“We also believe removing even a single person who is impaired from the road, also has a domino effect. We are saving the life of that driver, we are saving the lives of pedestrians who are walking on the roadways, and we are saving the lives of all the drivers and passengers that are driving at the same time as the driver.

“We create a domino effect of safety.”

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows RCMP selected for new air enforcement program

While there were two alcohol-related casualties in the 11-month period after the project was initiated (May 2018 – March 2019), the RCMP said there has not been a fatal collision involving alcohol in the past 11 months (March 2019 – February 2020).

Media relations officer Const. Julia Klaussner said the project involves having dedicated staff focus on impaired driving during key hours.

“The purpose of the program is to have members come in with the sole purpose of being able to not worry about taking regular calls,” she said.

“The purpose is to be out on our streets with the strict idea that they’re going to be doing targeted enforcement, so they’re going to areas in the community where we know there’s going to be a higher risk that there will be someone driving while impaired and they’re going to be looking for those people and strictly there to do that job.”

Klaussner said they were surprised by the number of people they arrested when they started targeted impaired driving enforcement.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

In 2017, prior to the launch of the project, local RCMP performed 279 impaired driving investigations. In 2018, they performed 486 investigations and in 2019, that number has climbed to 553.

The effect of the project is starting to show, said Arora.

“While I was getting in my police car, a man walking his dog came up to me and said, thank you officer.

“I asked him what he meant and he reminded me that about two weeks [previous] I had stopped him when he was going home; driving his vehicle while impaired.

“The man also stated that it was a wake-up call for him, and that now he was doing everything he can to change his life around.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A small memorial to Rich Goulet at Pitt Meadows Secondary honoured the late coach. (The News files)
LETTER: Pitt Meadows petition signer lobs gym naming question back into school board’s court

Thousands of people have signed a petition to name a gym after the late coach Rich Goulet

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident impressed with frontline workers when husband hurt

From police to health professionals, everyone who cared for injured senior deserves praise

Residents of Golf Lane say they are tired of their houses and vehicles being hit by golf balls from the nearby Maple Ridge Golf Course, and worry someone is going to get killed by a wayward drive. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Maple Ridge Golf Course neighbours say they need protection

City willing to explore solutions says director of parks

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Ineke Boekhorst with the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association says Sparkle has been a huge hit with downtown businesses. (The News files)
Maple Ridge business to get free Earth Day window cleaning

Event put on by the Downtown Maple Ridge BIA and Christian Life Assembly

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Most Read