JCC Police Earn Awards for Countywide Seat Belt Use

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From left: Master Officer Leslie Sten, Police Chief Brad Rinehimer and Melanie Stokes, Occupant Protection Coordinator for DMV’s Highway Safety Office (Photo courtesy of JCC Police)
From left: Master Officer Leslie Sten, Police Chief Brad Rinehimer and Melanie Stokes, Occupant Protection Coordinator for DMV’s Highway Safety Office (Photo courtesy of JCC Police)

The James City County Police Department received two awards earlier this month for its efforts to improve and sustain a high level of seat belt usage throughout the county.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office recognized the county Dec. 9 with the Highest Use Award for having a 95 percent rate of seat belt use.

James City County also received the Most Improved Award for achieving a 12 percent increase in seat belt use, which was determined based on a surveys conducted shortly before and shortly after the May 2015 Click It or Ticket statewide enforcement campaign.

Stephanie Williams, spokeswoman for the police department, said officers regularly enforce seat belt usage during community events and presentations to civic groups. Last week, officers partnered with Chick-fil-A to give away coupons for a free sandwich to high school students who were wearing a seat belt behind the wheel.

Williams said the department participates in state and national initiatives to enforce seat belt use and combat drunk driving, adding they are fortunate to have grant funding to pay officers overtime for participating in seat belt and sober driving campaigns.

“Traffic safety is a priority for the department, as indicated by the fact that we have a traffic unit in place,” Williams said. “Certainly [the recognition] is great because it shows the work that they’re doing to get out and educate people.”