Start Safe, Stay Safe campaign begins Friday

By Nicole Bell - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A new summer-long campaign to crack down on reckless drivers and boaters is set to launch in Chesterfield county. The goal is simple: to reduce crashes and injuries caused by reckless boaters and drivers.

When it's time for a little family fun Chris Andrews and family often head to Lake Chesdin. Chris says most boaters play it safe on the lake but there are always a few who don't.

"A lot of people will come out drinking and all," said Chris. "I've seen people get run over by each other."

That's something Chesterfield police is hoping to crack down on this summer. The department is launching Start Safe, Stay Safe. An aggressive summer long enforcement program that targets motorists and boaters who break the law.

"It's going to be weekdays, weekend, different hours, just to get the message out there that we need to be aware of our driving and we need to drive safely," said Major Karl Leonard.

There will be an increased number of traffic checkpoints. Officers will be targeting drivers who are drunk, speeding, or violating any traffic law. There will also be an increased police presence on Lake Chesdin.

"You have no marked lanes, so boats are going to go where we are, as it is. You add to that reckless boating or boating under the influence and you have a dangerous situation to other boaters who are just trying to have fun out there and relax," said Leonard.

Police say it's time of year when they begin to see a jump in traffic accidents.

"We saw last year between alone, just between Memorial Day and Labor Day an excess on 1,800 accidents resulting in injury to one or more occupants and that's what we want to reduce significantly, anybody getting hurt out here," Leonard said.

Enforcement of the campaign will be countywide. Back at the lake Chris says he hopes the initiatives will cause more people to play by the rules.

Although the campaign is countywide police say there are a few high traffic areas they'll pay special attention to. The initiative will get underway Friday.

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