Gloucester Sheriff’s Office forms traffic safety unit

by Kim Robins - Posted on Feb 06, 2013 - 11:59 AM

The Gloucester Sheriff’s Office has formed a traffic safety unit to implement an initiative targeting impaired drivers and the use of safety restraints.

The unit is comprised of a dozen officers who have historically shown they are proactive with their efforts in keeping roadways safe, according to GSO Major Ryan Cookson. Cookson said the goal is not only to enforce the laws, but also to educate the public through traffic safety events.

The unit conducted an enforcement checkpoint just north of the Coleman Bridge toll plaza Saturday beginning at 10 p.m. The checkpoint and related saturated patrols in the area were in conjunction with the Virginia Highway Safety Office’s Super Bowl Weekend Impaired Driving Campaign.

Cookson said the extra effort resulted in 25 traffic summonses, including three for driving with a suspended or revoked license, two for driving under the influence and two for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Since implementing the traffic safety unit, Cookson said DUI arrests increased this January to 10 from five in January 2012 and summonses related to seat belt use increased from one to 22. He said operations by the unit are partially funded by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.