Police begin ‘Click it or Ticket’ effort

Henrico student recognized for poster design
Local and state police gathered May 24 at Richmond International Raceway to promote their participation in the national ‘Click It or Ticket’ program and recognize a Henrico student for her poster, which will be used to promote the program locally.

Dumbarton Elementary School fifth-grader Valeriz Castellar received a $100 check and special certificate for her winning 'Click It Or Ticket' poster design from Henrico County police Chief Doug Middleton and Sgt. Jim Livingstone from the Fraternal Order of Police No. 4 during the kick-off event at Richmond International Raceway.

“I love art a lot, I do,” Castellar said. “Thinking about doing something that I really like and getting money for what I love is neat.”

The contest was open to all fifth-grade students in Henrico County School District, said Lt. A.J. Gordon of the Henrico police. Art teachers from each school picked a winner, and Middleton and his staff chose Castellar’s poster from the seven winning posters.

“We figure the children are the future, and we can get them to promote seatbelt and child restraint safety among themselves and their families,” Gordon said. Click It or Ticket promotes seat belt and child safety seat use.

Henrico Police were joined by officers from Police, James City Police, Virginia State Police, New Kent Sheriff’s Office, York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office and Chesterfield Police to promote national Click It Or Ticket Mobilization May 21 – June 3 and the Memorial Day weekend Route 60 Blitz May 25.

As part of the mobilization and blitz there will be an increased presence of officers from all jurisdictions along Route 60. The blitz began in 2006 on the suggestion of Lt. Lee Bailey of the New Kent County Sheriff’s Office, according to Gordon.

During 2011 Memorial Day weekend, 10 people died on Virginia roadways, Gordon said. Of those, two were children and three adults who were not restrained. In all there was a total of 764 traffic related deaths in Virginia last year, and of those 306 were unrestrained.

“If they’d have been wearing their seat belts they probably would have survived,” Gordon said.

A survey conducted in Henrico prior to the Click It or Ticket campaign showed that 79 percent of drivers in Henrico had been wearing seat belts, Gordon said, adding that officials hope to increase that percentage to 82 or 83 through enforcement and education efforts.

The 2011 state usage rate was 81 percent, said Mary Ann Rayment of the Department of Motor Vehicles Virginia Office of Motor Safety. State officials would like to improve that to 82.5 percent, she said, but reaching that number will require the effort of all Virginians.

“We hope it won’t take a traffic stop to get you to buckle up,” she said. “But we are here to help get you to your destinations in one piece.”
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