Opinion

How many speeders ponied up toys in Ranson?

A column by Grant County Press Editor Bill Foutch

PETERSBURG, W.Va. — Here’s a neat story for the Christmas season from the town of Ranson, W.Va.

Motorists who get ticketed for speeding in that city can avoid paying a fine by donating to the police department’s holiday toy drive. The department calls it “Slow Down for the Holidays” program.

Those caught speeding get three choices. They can contest the ticket in court, pay the fine or buy a toy for an underprivileged child and get the citation dismissed. Requirements are that the toy must be new and cost at least $40, proved by a receipt.

I called their police chief, Bill Roper, to ask about their program. He said, “We’ve collected 600 to 700 toys and will be serving 20 families this year.”

Not only does the program provide toys for needy children, but according to Roper, “It reminds drivers to think about their driving and speed limits.”

“It also saves the speeder about $100 in fines,” Roper said.

I told the chief their program was a novel idea and a great public relations effort. I shared our effort with the “Toys for Happiness” program, that collected over 1,000 toys this year. He said, “That’s a great idea.”

A word of warning. Drive the speed limit if you are going through Ranson or it might cost you some Barbie dolls.

Anyway, a merry Christmas to all!

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