CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Governor’s Highway Safety Program is providing money to local law enforcement to crack down on distracted drivers in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Division of Highways provided $1 million to the program for fiscal year 2015 for education, awareness and enforcement programs throughout the state, according to the program’s annual report. That money goes toward efforts such as commercials to raise awareness and paid overtime enforcement programs.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office on April 1 began a funded enforcement initiative that is ongoing and will continue for several weeks, according to a department press release.
“They do this several times per year,” said Sgt. Brian Humphreys, sheriff’s office spokesman.
The money the sheriff’s office receives comes from an allotment of $50,000 from the state split between Kanawha, Boone and Logan counties, said Charleston police Cpl. Brian Jones, who heads the governor’s safety initiative for a four-county region, which also includes Clay County though that area’s law enforcement doesn’t participate.
“Some counties don’t have the resources or money to wait for the reimbursement,” Jones said. They can still participate at their discretion, and can participate in other sections of the initiative, including driving under the influence patrols, Target Red and the Click It or Ticket blitz.
Those programs receive similar funding at the start of the fiscal year, Jones said.
“This month is a blitz, but we’ll spread that money out through the year,” he said.