PUBLIC SAFETY: Culpeper Police urge motorists to wear safety belts  


This Thanksgiving, the Culpeper Police Department is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement agencies across the country on a high-visibility Click It or Ticket mobilization to make sure all Thanksgiving travelers are wearing their seat belts. The Click It or Ticket mobilization will begin on Nov. 21, and conclude on Dec. 4.

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, when millions of Americans hit the road to spend time with friends and family. But more vehicles on the road mean potential for more crashes and more fatalities.

The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to save lives by making sure all Culpeper drivers and

passengers get the message to wear their seat belts. The campaign combines powerful messages about seat belt safety with increased patrolling and enforcement for all unbuckled motorists.

“Tragically, almost half of the people who died in a fatal traffic crashes last Thanksgiving were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash,” said Chief Chris Jenkins. “This year, we will be making sure that all Thanksgiving travelers we see are wearing seat belts, and that all violators will be given a ticket.”

In Virginia, the law requires all drivers and front seat passengers to wear seat belts, and violations are punishable by a fine.

During the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 1), there were 341 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide, and 50 percent of those killed were NOT wearing seat belts.

Some of these tragic deaths may have been prevented by seat belt use. NHTSA research indicates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45

percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.

In 2014, seat belts saved the lives of 12,802 passenger vehicle occupants. If seat belt use had been at 100 percent, an additional 2,814 people would still be alive this Thanksgiving.

“We see the devastation first-hand when people fail to buckle up in a crash, so whether you’re

driving down the street, across town, or hundreds of miles away, you must wear your seat belt,” said Chief Jenkins “This Thanksgiving and every day of the year, remember: Click It or Ticket.”

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit

Fight back against utility scams


Dominion Virginia Power reminds customers never to respond to threatening requests for payment. Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or call Dominion at 866-DOM-HELP.

Last year, scammers contacted nearly 2,800 Dominion Virginia Power customers, demanding fraudulent payments totaling more than $1.2 million. Hundreds of customers fell victim, paying nearly $200,000 in response to threats of immediate disconnection of electric service.

“While we are working in concert with law enforcement to identify, track and stop these scams, it’s important for customers to recognize the red flags,” said Marc Gaudette, director-Corporate Security, Safety & Health. “Unfortunately, the scammers frequently target the elderly, non-English-speaking communities and businesses during their busy times and use caller ID spoofing software so a customer thinks Dominion is calling.”

“There are two clear signs that there’s a scammer on the other end of that phone call that you can easily spot,” said Becky Merritt, vice president, Customer Service. “First, we would never threaten a customer, even if their account is past due. Second, we would never insist on one specific, immediate form of payment—there are a number of options available to customers, including in-person at a verified payment location, secure payment through their online account, or our third-party payment processing vendor.”

Customers are reminded to do the following:

  • Ask questions and verify what you are hearing by checking your online account or hanging up and then calling us at 866-DOM-HELP. If an account is overdue, we provide multiple communications in writing and offer a payment plan before disconnection occurs.
  • Remember that we do not require payment over the phone and never demand         immediate payment of cash, PayPal, any prepaid debit card such as ‘MoneyPak/Green Dot’, or any gift card to avoid disconnection. Payment by phone is available through BillMatrix at 1-800-573-1147.         (Note:         customers will never be contacted directly by BillMatrix requiring payment.)
  • Collect information from the scammer including the caller’s name, any phone numbers or other details before hanging up and reporting to local law enforcement.

For other tips about how to avoid scams, please visit