News and updates from Smart, Safe & Sober about upcoming mobilizations, training opportunities, law enforcement agency initiatives, and more!
SS&S Newsletter June 2013

2014 Governor's Transportation Safety Awards Presented

Retired Law Enforcement Liaison Frank Kowaleski receives Lifetime Achievement Award

RICHMOND – House of Delegates Committee on Transportation Chairman Tom Rust presented awards to the winners of the 2014 Governor's Transportation Safety Awards during a ceremony at the Capitol on Thursday, June 12, 2014.

“Our Commonwealth is committed to developing and implementing traffic safety strategies that save lives,” said Delegate Rust. “I was delighted to be a part of honoring the men and women who devote their time to making Virginia’s roads safer every day.”

The following individuals and organizations were honored for their outstanding contributions to transportation safety:

Lifetime Safety Achievement – Frank J. Kowaleski has dedicated his career to transportation safety. He developed a number of training programs on occupant protection and child safety seats, contributed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s curriculum of Traffic Occupant Protection Strategies, and helped develop the Saved by the Belt and Bag Program. He has trained officers to identify DUI suspects as well as the field testing in accordance with the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Because of his expertise in impaired driving and his continued commitment to highway safety, Mr. Kowaleski has been recognized as a subject matter expert and has provided his services on a national scale.



Resources for 2014 New Laws 

DCJS 2014 New Laws Update — Legislative & Appellate Updates for Law Enforcement

DMV 2014 Legislative Bulletin (PDF)

VSP Selected Acts of the 2014 General Assembly — Word Doc | PDF


Eight Fatalities Reported During 2014 July Fourth Holiday

Crashes Involved Motorcycles, ATV’s, and Pedestrians

RICHMOND – Preliminary numbers indicate that eight individuals died in eight crashes during the 2014 Fourth of July holiday weekend. In 2013, seven people were killed in traffic crashes over a four-day holiday weekend.* The holiday statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 4, 2014, and concluded at midnight Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Four of the eight fatal crashes involved motorcyclists, all of whom were wearing motorcycle helmets. The motorcycle fatalities occurred in the City of Virginia Beach and Albemarle, Brunswick and Orange counties. Two of the victims who died during the 2014 Fourth of July holiday were operating all-terrain vehicles. The ATV crashes occurred in Montgomery and Richmond counties. A 32-year-old pedestrian was killed in the City of Newport News and a 45-year-old pedestrian was killed in the City of Roanoke. Alcohol was a factor in at least one of the fatalities. ...

Additionally, troopers arrested 77 impaired drivers and cited 11,712 speeders and 2,673 reckless drivers during the three-day statistical counting period. The Virginia State Police 2014 Fourth of July holiday enforcement efforts also resulted in 832 safety belt violations and 342 child safety seat violations. Troopers responded to a total of 566 traffic crashes statewide. ...



Fourteen Honored for Making the Lifesaving Decision to Buckle Up

The Saved by the Belt Awards Committee recently selected fourteen individuals — including two law enforcement officers — to receive the Virginia Saved by the Belt Award.The awards were presented between April and June 2014. 

Click here to view the list of recipients and read their stories

The Saved by the Belt & Bag Program is open to any law enforcement agency. Nominations for individuals who were involved in traffic crashes and were wearing safety restraint devices are being accepted on a continual basis. There is no cost to the nominating agency – all recognition materials are provided by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police through funding from a grant from the Virginia Highway Safety Office. To participate, download the nomination form.

Virginia DMV Launches Instagram Account; Encourages Virginians to Snap "Safety Selfies"

RICHMOND – Virginians are encouraged to get out their cell phone cameras, snap a self-portrait of themselves buckled up while parked and share it on social media sites using the hashtag #SafetySelfieVA. Virginia DMV will search for and post these buckled-up selfies daily on its new Instagram page. ...

The Safety Selfie process is easy and takes just a moment to complete. With your vehicle in a safe and legal parked position, activate your cell phone camera and take a picture showing your seat belt buckled securely. Then, share the photo with your friends, family and co-workers via your account on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag, "#SafetySelfieVA." DMV’s Virginia Highway Safety Office encourages you to add comments about why it’s important to wear your seat belt on every trip. Be sure to look for your Safety Selfie on Virginia DMV’s new Instagram page. ...


VIRGINIA LEOs: We love seeing your "Safety Selfies"... how about taking it one step further and participating in the VACP's Officer Belt Use Poster Campaign?

New Community Outreach Program for Law Enforcement from USPS, Cluster Communications

Stand-Alone Bumper Sticker Mailers

Bumper Stickers have long been a way to express support for a group, cause or institution. Cluster Communication has developed an outreach program that utilizes an auto decal and its ability to drive awareness in a community about your campaigns and initiatives.

The front of the sticker is intended to broadcast your safety initiative.  The back can carry any information pertinent to your local residence, including a personal message from the law enforcement leader and/or a list of upcoming events. (SAMPLE)

The stickers are mailed as a stand-alone mail piece; this means the decal appears in the mailbox just as if you hand delivered it yourself. They are mailed to every residence in a “cluster”.   A cluster is generally a neighborhood made up of approximately 500 homes, (20-30+ clusters make up a zip code).  Rich demographic data is available on each cluster to provide a high level of targeting capability. 

Capitalize on this newly approved mailing format, and its ability to carry your message for many months after delivery.


Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over National Crackdown

Aug 13 – Sept 1

Campaign Materials


Child Passenger Safety Week

Sept 14-20

National Seat Check Saturday

Sept 20

Campaign Materials


Halloween Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign

Oct 31

Campaign Materials


Click It or Ticket Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Campaign

Nov 27

Campaign Materials


Upcoming Trainings, Campaigns & Important Dates

National Traffic Incident
Manager (TIM) Responder

July 23 • Richmond, VA (& More)

National Traffic Incident
Manager (TIM) Responder

July 23 • Chesterfield, VA (& More)

DUID Training Program
July 24 • Richmond, VA

DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing SFST Instructor-Development Training Program
July 28 - 31 • Chesterfield, VA

SHRP2 - Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Training
July 30 • Stafford, VA (1-5 PM & 6-10 PM)

Back to School Safety Month
August 2014

National Stop on Red Week
Aug 3-9

Impaired Driving Enforcement National Crackdown
Aug 13 – Sept 1

Advanced DUI Training for Investigators and Prosecutors
Aug 20-22 • Staunton

DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing SFST Instructor-Development Training Program
Aug 25 - 28 • Williamsburg, VA

Alcohol Recovery Month
Sept 2014

DUID Training Program
Sept 5 • Chesapeake

Virginia Assn. of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference
Sept 7-10 • Roanoke

"Cops in Court" Training
Sept 11 • Newport News

Child Passenger Safety Week
Sept 14-20
• National Seat Check Saturday: Sept 20

2014 Virginia Sheriffs' Association Annual Conference
Sept 14-16 • Virginia Beach

Virginia Distracted Driving Summit
Sept 15-16 • Richmond


September 15-16, 2014 • Richmond, VA


"Cops in Court" Program – Sept. 11 – Newport News

The Commonwealth's Attorneys Services Council (CASC) is presenting this day-long training program for law enforcement officers. This course focuses on increasing the ability of law enforcement officers to communicate effectively and confidently in the courtroom. With a goal of assisting officers in presenting testimony in a professional, accurate and convincing manner, the course topics include issues such as “the courtroom environment”, “report writing”, “preparation”, “effective direct examination” and “surviving cross examination”. While the course is structured around a DUI case, it will develop skills useful for officers who testify in all types bench or jury trials.

Discussions of direct examination and the goals of cross-examination will enable law enforcement officers to better understand the nature of their own testimony, anticipate what questions might be asked of them, and increase their credibility on the witness stand. We will examine the various types of cross-examination strategies, highlight particular areas subject to attack, and discuss how to avoid pitfalls. Lunch will be provided.

Adapted for Virginia from NHTSA’s “Cops In Court” program, this training will be presented without charge on September 11 at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy.

Pre-registration is required. Registration is conducted by the hosting academy. In-Service Training Credits are pending. (No MCLE credits for this training.)

Contact Ed Hibbard at or (757) 253-4994 for more information.


Join NHTSA on July 31st for a Day of Social Media Conversation — Help Save Kids from Heatstroke

As we approach rising summer temperatures, the danger for kids left in hot vehicles increases exponentially: at least 13 children have already died this year from vehicular heatstroke.

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatalities for children 14 and under. Nearly every 10 days, a child dies from being left in a hot vehicle. More than half (52%) of kids who died from vehicular heatstroke were “forgotten” by their caregiver. This is a 100-percent preventable tragedy.

NHTSA is asking you to help us raise awareness about the dangers of kids and cars through a concerted day-long social media conversation. We’re asking our State and safety partners to tweet and post on Facebook every 30 minutes on July 31st from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. @NHTSAgov will be using the hash tags #checkforbaby and #heatstrokekills on all its social media posts, and we’d like you to do the same.

CLICK HERE for some sample social media posts to get you into the conversation.

Heatstroke Prevention Campaign Toolkit for July 31st


DMV Encourages Customers to "Know Your Ride";
If It's Not on the List, It's Not Recommended

RICHMOND – Whether you are hailing a cab back to your hotel after a day of walking in historic Old Town Alexandria, chartering a bus to take a large crew to Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion for the day, arranging transportation home after a night out on the town, or hiring a limo for a luxury ride to a late-spring or summer wedding, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) urges Virginians to consider safety and security when using a for-hire transportation service. 

Read more


National Traffic Incident Manager (TIM) Responder Training

A number of agencies are hosting a multitude of National Traffic Incident Manager (TIM) Responder Trainings at NO COST throughout 2014.

This 6-hour course is a new coordinated, multi-disciplinary training program developed through the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) and is available for all emergency responders and those supporting Traffic Incident Management operations. This training puts police, firefighters, state and local departments of transportation, towing, medical personnel, and other incident responders on the same page, leading to a safer, faster, integrated responder team.

Training Dates & Locations:
Richmond Police Academy July 23, Aug 13, Aug 27, Sept 10, Sept 24, Oct 15, Oct 29, Nov 12, Dec 3 and Dec 17. (All classes 9am - 3pm.)

VSP Training Academy (Chesterfield) July 15, July 23, Aug 8, Aug 25, Sept 8, Oct 17, Oct 29, Nov 10, Nov 19, Dec 2 and Dec 15 (All classes 8am - 2pm.)

Henrico Training Academy Aug 5, Oct 3 and Dec 2. (All classes 9am - 3pm.)

Stafford Co. Public Safety Building — July 30 (2 Classes: 1-5PM & 6-10PM)


NETS, Liberty Mutual Insurance offer free electronic parent-teen driving guide

Vienna, Va. – To help parents coach teens in developing the skills to be safe drivers, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and Liberty Mutual Insurance have joined forces to release an electronic edition of The Novice Driver's Road Map: An 8-Step Guide for Parents® (eNDRM). The new guide is available now as a free download from the NETS website.

The eNDRM provides an easy-to-follow curriculum for parents or adult coaches to guide teens in the practice needed to become safe, focused drivers and licensed in nearly all states. The interactive electronic guide is built around a series of eight drives that increase in complexity. Each includes a checklist of practice skills along with a set of detailed instructions and space to add notes. The practice sessions progress from driving in an empty parking lot to driving at night and in inclement weather. A log is included to track practice hours that updates with the time accrued after each entry, a useful tool to assist with graduated driver licensing requirements.

Read more

AAA’s Martha Meade: A voice for travelers and a crusader for safety

Martha Mitchell Meade wants you to travel — and she wants you to do it safely.

The face of AAA Mid-Atlantic, Meade is a voice for the average traveler and a crusader for highway safety.

The travel organization is a major force in Virginia.

With most people traveling by road, AAA Mid-Atlantic represents nearly 846,000 members in the state, while Virginia is home to about 6.2 million licensed drivers and more than 7.8 million registered vehicles.

In her post as the auto club’s manager of public and government affairs and director of its IDrive teen-safety program in Richmond, Meade has:

  • advocated at federal, state and local levels on issues affecting motorists, such as transportation funding, safety legislation and public policy;
  • worked for the interests of motorists and other travelers;
  • pushed for responsible and better-educated drivers; and
  • aided journalists in reporting on travel issues.

Long days are the norm in Meade’s work, whether it’s speaking before General Assembly committees or button-holing members, coordinating public events with local, state and national stakeholders, or answering reporters’ questions about rising gas prices, holiday travel forecasts or tips for motorists driving in bad weather.

“Reporters are my clients,” Meade said. “They work 24/7, and so I am on call for those hours as well.

“That makes every day a new and unexpected adventure,” she said. “I never know whether I will be granting interviews or even what topics will be covered.”

Since she took over the AAA Mid-Atlantic public affairs job a decade ago, Meade and a single associate have done nearly 6,900 media interviews. ...

Continue reading...

Danville Police present Saved by the Belt, traffic safety awards

Danville City Council chambers were packed June 25 for the annual Traffic Safety Awards ceremony presented by the Danville Police Department for drivers who saved themselves serious injury — or even death — in serious car wrecks by wearing seatbelts.

Chief Philip Broadfoot said the department realizes there will be vehicle crashes, but the awards were initiated several years ago to point out that seatbelt use can reduce the physical toll crashes take on drivers and passengers.

Three civilian drivers and their passengers, as well as two police officers and a sheriff’s deputy, received “Saved by the Belt” certificates. ...

Broadfoot also announced the departments “top producers” of citations to drivers who were not wearing seatbelts; drivers who had children in their vehicles without having required child safety seats; drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and drivers were speeding. ...

Finally, individuals and organizations received recognition for partnering with law enforcement to raise awareness of safe driving practices.

Continue reading...

Virginia Highway Safety Committee to meet July 10

On Thursday, the Virginia Highway Safety Committee is meeting to discuss a variety of issues and programs of importance to Virginia law enforcement and the traffic safety community.

Topics on the agenda include:

  • Virginia Highway Safety Office Update – Dr. Lori Rice, Deputy Director, Va HSO
  • Bicycle Safety: Recent Changes in the Law, and Richmond 2015 – Monica Callahan, Richmond 2015 &  Champe Burnley, Virginia Bicycling Federation
  • License Plate Readers, Cameras and the Challenges to Using Technology
  • Distracted Driving/Texting Issues – Discussion of Training Curriculum/Distracted Driving Summit 2014 – Janet Brooking, Executive Director, DRIVE SMART Virginia
  • TIMS Training Update – Lt. Bob Marland, Richmond PD
  • National and Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge Programs – Erin Schrad, Virginia LEC Coordinator
  • Traffic Enforcement Training Needs – Agenda Topics for the Small Agency Symposiums
  • Possible Traffic Safety Legislative Issues for 2015

State police recreate road challenges at Nottoway track

For about 20 years, the Virginia State Police has trained new troopers how to drive on a closed runway of the Blackstone Army Airfield, a World War II-era facility with crumbling infrastructure at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County.

"It's 70-year-old concrete, so that gives you an idea what we were driving on," said Sgt. Les Tyler, one of the department's senior driver instructors. ...

Those days have come to an end as State Police have a new $27.4 million Driver Training Complex on 680 acres near Fort Pickett, just outside the town of Blackstone.

More than two decades in the making, the facility provides troopers and local law enforcement officers with 4½ miles of urban, rural and interstate roadway courses designed to simulate the Virginia topography they will experience on the job. The training track includes interstate acceleration lanes, a cloverleaf ramp, city intersections, a roundabout, railroad tracks, a skidpan, cul-de-sacs and a precision-driving course among other features — just about every conceivable road configuration you would find in the real world.

Continue reading...

Video tour of track
(VSP YouTube)

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