By Jessica Farrish
Beckley Police Lt. Paul Blume wants to let motorists know that if they get pulled over in the Beckley area today, they’re getting a ticket.
BPD teamed up Friday with the King’s Warriors soccer team, the Miners baseball team and Beckley Motorsports speedway to kick off the 2013 Click-it Or Ticket campaign at Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley.
All three sports organizations donated 200 tickets each for Beckley officers to give to motorists who are buckled up once they’re pulled over for a primary offense.
The 600 tickets will be good for free admission to sporting events.
Those who aren’t buckled up will get ticketed for a fine, said Blume.
“When we encounter them, one way or another, they’re getting a ticket,” said Blume. “Either one for wearing a seatbelt or for not wearing a seatbelt.
“Our region will be very visible,” said Blume. “Officers will be really working hard, patrolling hard, to observe people who are not wearing their seatbelt.”
King’s Warriors coach Scott Reitnour said the team is excited to support local law enforcement efforts, even as they prepare for their first game of the season today at 7 p.m. at the YMCA Soccer Complex.
“We want to let the southern West Virginia community know the King’s Warriors are here to love and serve the community however we can,” said Reitnour.
David Blume, 11, son of King’s Warriors owner Dr. Jim Blume, agreed that the soccer team’s involvement is a good idea and that he’ll be at the game supporting the home team.
Miners’ coach Tim Epling said the team plans to offer tickets for the CIOT campaign every year.
“Any time we can support something to save lives, that’s a major thing to support for us,” said Epling. “It’s getting awareness out there.
“We all have family members, and you know how kids are nowadays.
“This brings out awareness.”
Race car driver Michael Moore, son of Beckley Motorsports owners Billie and Joe Jackson, said he’s revved up for CIOT.
“It’s a great feeling to be involved,” he said. “If you save one life, it’s worth it.”
Blume said his department is also gearing up for the distracted driving campaign, helping folks to remember to “Drive Safe, Park the Phone.”
On July 1, driving while holding a handheld cellular phone becomes a primary offense.
Blume said in the meantime, he hopes motorists will remember to buckle their seatbelts.
CIOT, an annual federal effort by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to get motorists to use seatbelts, will be in effect through June 2.
In West Virginia, not using a seatbelt currently is a secondary offense, but a bill making it a primary offense is awaiting the governor’s signature, according to Blume.
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