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Southwest Virginia officers recognized for work on seat belt safety videos

Mike Still • Jul 4, 2019 at 3:00 PM

WISE — The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles hopes that making local police and deputies video stars will improve drivers’ seat belt use this year.

DMV Highway Safety Office representatives John Messina and Rick Clark stopped by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office to recognize officers and deputies who are appearing in the department’s Local Heroes series of YouTube videos.

The videos, produced with law enforcement officers in Wise, Lee and Buchanan counties, focus on why drivers and passengers need to use seat restraints for reasons other than avoiding a ticket.

Messina, the DMV’s occupant protection coordinator, congratulated the “stars” for the video clips’ professional quality.

“We’ve monitored Kentucky’s videos, and our videos have 10 times the hits, 3,800 per county,” he said.

For the Wise County and Norton Local Heroes clip, viewers can see Wise County Deputy Jason Stine, Wise Police Officer Reagan McClaugherty and Norton Officer Justin Qualls explain why seat belts are more than a legality.

The Lee County video features Deputies Todd Jones and Chris Oakley and Pennington Gap Officer Jesse Jones. Virginia State Troopers Jimmy Serrac and Joseph Boyd also represent VSP Area Offices 30 and 29.

Wise, Lee and Buchanan counties and Norton are the first counties featured in the Local Heroes video series. Messina said the campaign will expand to the Wythe County and Bedford areas and Eastern Shore counties.

Wise County Sheriff’s Lt. Teresa Meade said the videos, which complement the state’s ongoing Click It or Ticket seat belt awareness campaign, are another way to let drivers know that the Fourth of July weekend also means seat belt use is important. Drivers in Wise County and Norton can expect to see seat belt enforcement checkpoints across the area as well as in neighboring counties through Sunday.

Links to the Local Heroes You Tube videos are:

Buchanan County https://youtu.be/HRzZc6i5V1I

Lee County https://youtu.be/wIcOlBcMFjU

Wise County https://youtu.be/cOxO77Sf4Bs

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