June 17, 2015
State honors VCU Police for traffic safety efforts
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For the second time in three years, the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department has been recognized at the state level for its ongoing efforts to improve traffic safety at VCU.
Chief John Venuti, Capt. Sean Ingram and Lt. Leonard Dilligard accepted the 2015 Governor’s Transportation Safety Award on June 16 at the Capitol in Richmond.
The awards recognize individuals and organizations that make extraordinary contributions to transportation safety in Virginia and honor exemplary accomplishments in the public, private and nonprofit sectors by individuals, state and local governments, federal agencies and others.
“Throughout the year we’re really proactive in our efforts to not only enforce laws but to prepare and educate our community,” Venuti said following the ceremony. “Encouraging people to develop safe habits obviously helps individuals, but those habits affect everyone surrounding them on the roadways.”
The 2015 award honors VCU Police programs and services completed in 2014. Those initiatives included, but were not limited to:
- Student vehicle checks: In the spring and fall, VCU Police partnered with VCU Parking and Transportation, Virginia Blood Services, Safelite Auto Glass, Cutshaw Automotive, and Aramark for vehicle safety checks. Cutshaw offered the following free services for VCU students’ vehicles: checks of fluid levels, tire pressure levels and battery voltage levels. Safelite fixed minor cracks in students’ windshields. The events helped students prepare for extended travel before spring and winter breaks.
- Red light initiative: In May and July 2014, VCU Police, Richmond Police and the Virginia State Police conducted coordinated patrols along the Broad Street and Belvidere Street corridors. Officers and troopers stopped motorists who disregarded red lights, and a total of 275 traffic summons were issued for various traffic infractions. The goal of this enforcement initiative was to boost safety in heavily traveled areas, specifically for pedestrians.
- Distracted driver simulator: In September 2014, VCU Police brought a distracted driver simulator to the MCV Campus. Students, faculty and staff had the chance to simulate texting while driving, and driving while impaired by alcohol, to experience how distractions and impairments affect driving.
Prior to the presentation of awards, Brian Moran, secretary of public safety and homeland security for Virginia, thanked recipients for contributing to a reduction in fatalities on Virginia’s roadways in 2014.
“The real reward can be measured in lives saved,” Moran said.
VCU Police won this year’s award for the law enforcement category; the department also won in the same category in 2013.
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