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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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‘Drive with reason this holiday season’
Safe driving initiative aimed at teenagers
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Lt. Mark Sweeney, Lt. Todd Maxey, Rose Smith with the CHILL program, Sheriff Bill Overton, Sgt. Chris Johnson and Lt. Justin Sigmon stand underneath a safe driving billboard on U.S. 220 beside Virginia Furniture Market.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office will begin a safety initiative today at Franklin County High School to promote safe teen driving.

"Drive with reason this holiday season" encourages students to drive alcohol and drug free throughout the holiday season, according to Lt. Justin Sigmon.

"The purpose of this project is to encourage everyone, especially teen drivers, to drive smart, safe and sober," Sigmon said. "Statistically, the holidays are a deadly time of year for teenagers, due to car crashes."

Students will be encouraged to sign a pledge banner in the cafeterias during their lunch periods, Sigmon said. Deputies and CHILL (Communities Helping Improve Local Lives) Youth Task Force members will hand out red ribbons and awareness bracelets to students who sign the pledge.

By signing the pledge, students promise to drive alcohol and drug free during the holiday season, Sigmon said.

On Friday, Sheriff Bill Overton will challenge the students at the high school to drive safe and sober, every ride, every time. The sheriff's visit will coincide with "Tie Day Friday" when students are asked to show support for the safety initiative by wearing formal attire.

"Drivers who practice safe, defensive driving can help reduce the needless loss of life," Overton said. "Together, we can make a difference as we travel this holiday season."

As part of this safety initiative, the sheriff's office placed a billboard on U.S. 220 to remind motorists to avoid drunk, drugged and distracted driving during the month of December. Joel Shepard donated the use of the billboard to the sheriff's office.

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