Truck drivers passing through Virginia Beach this past Monday were treated to unusual safety inspections. Instead of citations and a hard time, truckers got something unusual: kindness.
When drivers pulled into the weigh station on I-264 East just before the Rosemont Road exit, they were greeted with a surprise. The first sign that something was different was probably seeing Santa in his big red suit waving at them.
Next, they pulled up to be greeted by Officer Forest Godwin with the Suffolk Police Department. He directed them to an area where volunteers handed out free Chick-Fil-A, donuts, and drinks.
Twenty-five years ago, Officer Godwin first came up with the idea for “Driver Appreciation Day.”
“Yes, somebody else is thinking about the truck drivers in a positive way instead of a negative way,” Godwin told ABC13. “These guys are dealing with a lot of different things and it’s difficult. They’ve got to give one hundred and ten percent.”
Together with the Virginia Beach Police Department Motor Carrier Safety Unit, AAA, and multiple other organizations and volunteers, a local non-profit put together the inspection blitz. Drive Safe Hampton Roads is an organization “with the goal of increasing the community’s involvement and awareness of traffic safety issues.”
The tradition has been going on for the past 25 years. It’s known amongst local drivers who even look forward to and seek out the event.