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

Steve Goodwin presented with lifetime achievement award in traffic safety

On Thursday, December 18, the International Association of Chiefs of Police presented retired DMV Program Manager Steve Goodwin with the 2013 J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety.

The prestigious J. Stannard Baker Award annually recognizes outstanding individual lifetime contributions to highway safety. Law enforcement officers of state, county, metropolitan, or municipal agencies, as well as other private or public sector representatives, are selected by the Highway Safety Committee for their sustained, continuous, career-spanning, and unusual initiative and creativity in developing and implementing highway safety programs within their agencies or within the communities they serve.

Mr. Goodwin’s assignment as a Military Policeman launched his 46-year commitment to all aspects of highway safety. He served as a police officer, a school resource officer, and the first detective in the Vinton, Virginia, Police Department; and as an auxiliary deputy with Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for two decades. However, he found his niche and achieved his greatest contributions to traffic safety when he was appointed in 1986 a regional highway safety manager with the Virginia Highway Safety Office, a position he held until as well-deserved retirement in January 2013.

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Welcome New Virginia Highway Safety Office Staff!

This fall, the Virginia Highway Safety Office hired five new employees. A few are familiar faces whose positions have simply moved over to the VAHSO, and some are new to the Office having filled vacant positions. Read on to learn more about each of them and their new roles! 

  • Michael Nash, Law Enforcement Liaison;
  • Melanie Stokes, Statewide Occupant Protection Program Manager;
  • Steven Williams, Roanoke District Program Manager;
  • Sr. Trooper Steven Kean, "on assignment" with the VAHSO from State Police to develop a statewide crash investigation program; and,
  • John Messina, Statewide Training Coordinator – Occupant Protection for Children. 
Read about all the new VAHSO staff

New Law Allows Temporary Deactivation of Vehicle License Plates

Major Benefit for Virginia Military; Motorcycle and RV Owners

Starting January 1, 2014, customers who operate Virginia-registered vehicles for only part of the year may temporarily deactivate their license plates and cancel the insurance without having to surrender the plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This new law will be beneficial for owners of seasonal vehicles such as motorcycles and RVs and active duty members of the military on deployment, if the vehicle is not being used.

Customers can easily deactivate and reactivate license plates online at or by calling DMV at (804) 497-7100.

To reactivate the plates, customers must:

  • have no outstanding tax obligations on their motor vehicle
  • provide insurance policy information or pay the unisured motor vehicle fee
  • pay a $10 reactivation fee (if the registration has not expired)

“This new law will be of tremendous benefit to thousands of Virginians, including our military men and women deployed overseas,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb.  “It will save customers a trip to DMV by allowing them to simply go online and deactivate their plates without having to surrender them to DMV. Customers can retain their plates and reactivate them when they are ready for the vehicle to be used.”

Customers should contact DMV when vehicle liability insurance is canceled during the registration period or may face stiff penalties if the vehicle is subsequently found uninsured.

For more information, visit



Super Bowl Sunday Campaign

February 2, 2014

Campaign Materials


St. Patrick's Day Impaired Driving Prevention & Enforcement

March 17, 2014

Campaign Materials


Upcoming Trainings, Campaigns & Important Dates

Super Bowl Sunday
Impaired Driving
Awareness Campaign

Feb 2

Advanced DUI Training
for Prosecutors &
Law Enforcement

Feb 19 – 21 • Williamsburg, VA

Topics to be covered at this intensive training include Investigative Stops, Checkpoints, Blood Testing Issues and DUI Manslaughter.  The latest version of the Virginia DUI Manual will be distributed to participants. This training program utilizes a team-training format requiring a team consisting of a prosecutor and a law enforcement officer from the same jurisdiction. There is no charge for this 3-day long training program.

FY 2014-15 DMV
Grant Applications Due!

Feb 28

VACP Midyear

Mar 10 – 11 • Staunton, VA

National Work Zone
Awareness Week

Mar 31 – Apr 4

National Distracted
Driving Awareness

Apr 1 – 30

Alcohol Awareness

Apr 1-30

2014 Lifesavers

Apr 27 – 29 • Nashville, TN

Motorcycle Safety
Awareness Month

May 1 – 31

National Bike Month
May 1 – 31

* Bike to School Day: May 7
* Bike to Work Day: May 16

Global Youth Traffic
Safety Month

May 1 – 31

Cinco de Mayo
Impaired Driving
Prevention Campaign

May 5

Click It or Ticket
National Enforcement

May 12 – 26


VACP 2014 Virginia General Assembly Pre-Session Report

Pre-filed legislation of note for law enforcement as of January 1, 2014

The 2014 session of the Virginia General Assembly convenes on January 8, 2014. A number of bills and study resolutions have been pre-filed, but many more legislative proposals will be introduced before the session gets underway. The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) and the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (VACLEA) have sorted through the pre-filed proposals as of January 1, 2014, and the ones of key interest to Virginia law enforcement are listed HERE.

Each bill is hyper-linked to the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS).  Just click on the bill number preceding the bill description, and it will take you to the full bill, along with the patron’s name and committee assignment.  You can follow the progress of each of these bills throughout the session by monitoring their pages in LIS at

The VACP and VACLEA will select a key list of the most important legislation to track throughout the session to keep you apprised of their progress.  If the bill you are interested in does not appear on our “close monitoring” list, please let us know so we can consider it for inclusion.  There are many bills introduced each session that potentially could impact public safety, and as the session progresses, you will see duplicate and similar bills consolidated into one legislative bill, and others will fail in committee action early in the session.

We will include regular legislative updates in the VACP weekly newsletter, and post additional legislative information on the VACP’s legislative resources page at  We also recommend that you subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter at

During the session, we will keep you apprised of committee hearings where the most crucial public safety legislation will be heard, and let you know when attendance by law enforcement leaders will be critical to the outcome of the legislation.  It is important that you answer the call to appear, as your expert testimony definitely will have an impact on legislative action.  If you have questions during the session, please do not hesitate to contact VACP/VACLEA Executive Director Dana Schrad by e-mail at or cell phone at 804-338-9512 (NOT the VACP office phone!).

Thank you — we appreciate your support and involvement in Virginia’s legislative process to ensure that public safety and Virginia law enforcement is represented and heard.



ARIDE E-Learning

The Traffic Safety Division of the Transportation Safety Institute is now offering an online course in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).

To attend the online ARIDE course, a law enforcement officer must be Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) certified. The SFST curriculum trains officers to identify and assess drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol while the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program provides more advanced training to evaluate suspected drug impairment. ARIDE is intended to bridge the gap between these two programs by providing officers with enhanced knowledge related to drug impairment and by promoting the use of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) in states that have the DEC Program. One of the more significant aspects of ARIDE is its review and required student demonstration of the SFST proficiency requirements.

Read more about the online ARIDE course...


Dealing with Drivers with Alzheimer’s Disease

The International Association of Chief of Police (IACP)’s Alzheimer’s Initiatives has developed two new resources to help law enforcement identify, interact with, and help drivers who suffer from dementia:   

Ashland Police Acquire New Simulated Impaired Driving Experience Vehicle

Thanks to a grant from State Farm Insurance, the Ashland Police Department was able to purchase a SIDNE battery-powered go-kart in 2013 for use in outreach and education programs about impaired driving.  SIDNE is short for Simulated Impaired DriviNg Experience and the $13,000 cart is sold by Innocorp Ltd., a company that specializes in innovative products for education. The department's $20,000 grant purchased the cart as well as a trailer, cones and other equipment for demonstrations and also helps cover some of the expenses of having the vehicle.

For the past few years, the department has hosted demonstrations in which drivers attempt to go through an obstacle using a golf cart and goggles that skew depth perception. Ashland Police Sgt. Scott Menzies said the SIDNE go-kart is a major improvement over the golf cart as it has a top speed of only about 8 mph and is designed to endure wild rides without flipping. In lieu of using the impaired vision goggles to simulate driving under the influence, the SIDNE go-kart is simply switched into “impaired mode,” which causes delayed reactions when the driver tries to turn or brake, similar to that of a drunk driver.

The SIDNE equipment is stored in a small, specially-built pull behind utility trailer and is available for use by other law enforcement agencies. Please contact Sgt. Scott Menzies at or 804-412-0613 to check availability.

Read more about Ashland PD's impaired driving simulator


Half of Police Officers Don't Wear Seat Belts, Study Says

While 86 percent of Americans now wear seat belts, an upcoming study that will be published by California's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training estimates that roughly half of law enforcement officers don't wear them.

With traffic-related fatalities the leading cause of death of officers on duty (firearms are second), departments nationwide are buckling down to get officers to buckle up.

"Something that can save a person's life should be on a high priority of being enforced," said Richard Ashton, a former police chief who has studied officer safety for more than a decade with the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Of the 733 law enforcement officers killed in a vehicle accident from 1980 through 2008, 42 percent weren't wearing seat belts. New police recruits today grew up wearing seatbelts, but often don't on the force because senior officers don't use them. Some cut old ones off cars and buckle them in to disable the alarm, belt them out of the way, or cut them out entirely. ...

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Interested in starting an officer belt use awareness campaign in your agency? The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is happy to help you create customized posters for display in your department. Click here for more information


In Case You Missed It... 2013 National Law Enforcement Challenge Webinar

Last month, Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall led a 30-minute webinar on changes made to the National Law Enforcement Challenge for the 2013 awards competition. In case you missed the webinar, you can view the recording online and download the slides HERE.

Future webinars are in the works to help prepare you for this year's awards process.

And as always, you can find out more about the Virginia and National Law Enforcement Challenge awards programs at  


Greater Washington Law Enforcement Lauded for Fight Against Drunk Driving

16th-Annual Event Honors Local Police in Fight Against DUI

One-dozen Washington-metropolitan area police officers were recognized December 13 for their “outstanding commitment in the fight against drunk driving in Greater Washington” and presented with the area’s 16th-annual “Law Enforcement Awards of Excellence for Impaired Driving Prevention.”

The annual awards were bestowed by WRAP in memory of Metropolitan Police Department’s Motor Patrol Officer Anthony W. Simms. Officer Simms, as a result of injuries sustained while on duty, lost his life to an impaired driver during Memorial Day weekend in 1996. WRAP’s 2013 Law Enforcement Awards were presented by Officer Simms’ widow, Lieutenant Pamela Simms, also formerly with the Metropolitan Police Department, along with News4’s (NBC) News Anchor Aaron Gilchrist. The event speakers included the Superintendents of both the Maryland and Virginia State Police, Colonel Marcus L. Brown and Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, respectively.

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Roving patrols replacing sobriety checkpoints

Police in central Virginia are changing their tactics to catch New Year's partiers who drink and drive.

Roving patrols are replacing sobriety checkpoints in places including Charlottesville. City police say social media and smartphone technology is making it too easy for people to share checkpoint locations and notify drivers where to avoid if they've had too much to drink.

“It used to be you had the phone call when someone would stop at a payphone and make the phone call as to where a sobriety checkpoint would be and notifying the bar people. Today, with social media and smartphone technology, that information can be text pretty quickly,” said Lieutenant Ronnie Roberts with the Charlottesville Police Department.

Charlottesville and Albemarle police warn extra officers are on-duty Tuesday night into the early morning hours.




Keep Up the Great Work!

Preliminary numbers indicate that the number of fatal crashes in 2013 is down by almost 50 compared to last year!  Additionally, the official seat belt rate for 2013 is up more than a percentage point from 2012 to 79.7%!

Thanks so much for your dedication to highway safety!


Leesburg High Schools Wage ‘Battle of the ‘Burg’ for Seatbelt Awareness

The annual police-sponsored competition aims to encourage teens to buckle up.

For a third year, Leesburg area high school students will compete to see which school can encourage seatbelt usage best, and it appears to be paying off. A survey conducted at Heritage, Loudoun County and Tuscarora high schools shows 84 percent to 94 percent of the students were using seatbelts, compared with 66.7 percent on average in 2012.

The Leesburg Police Department and the Virginia State Police introduced the “Put It Together,” or PIT, campaign in May 2012, and in the spirit of competition the schools re-dubbed it the “Battle of the ‘Burg.”

“We find the high school students are not only energetic, but also very competitive about this contest just by the creative ways they are participating in the ‘Put It Together’ challenge,” F/Sgt. A.D. Blankenship, VSP’s Loudoun area commander. “It’s a win for all public safety professionals as every time we have one more teenager buckle up, that’s one more student who is not putting his or her life at risk in a vehicle.”

The challenge began Dec. 6 and ended Dec. 13.

This year, the high schools were asked to create and produce a 30-second video incorporating the principles of the PIT Challenge. Once submitted, the Virginia State Police will post the videos on its YouTube and Facebook pages.

Continue reading...

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