CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The holiday season is quickly approaching. With Halloween coming up and Thanksgiving just around the corner, authorities across southwest Virginia are encouraging us to travel safely.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is urging motorists to pay extra attention to their vehicles this season, and to help them do that, they are partnering with the Advance Auto Parts store, located at 35 Conston Avenue NW in Christiansburg, to help them out.
On Friday, Oct. 27, they announced their new program at the Christiansburg shop. Organizers say they want to make sure local drivers stay safe and can see on the road. To do that, the advance store gave 60 $25 gift cards, equaling $1,500 to the sheriff’s office.
“We’ve always been involved in the community. Something I take pride in is being involved in the community as a district manager,” said BJ Burns, the New River Valley district manager with Advance Auto Parts. “It goes back to where we can make a positive impact, and I know Sheriff Partin and his guys are all about the positive impact as well.”
Those with Advance Auto Parts said the store has had a strong connection with the community here in southwest Virginia. The first ever auto store opened up right here in Roanoke in 1932.
Instead of writing up a summons for drivers with a front or taillight out, deputies will offer one of the gift cards instead.
“It is a big safety concern with equipment. Folks don’t really think about it that way. But it really can make them more visible if there’s an issue. Whether that’s the front of the car or the rear of the car it makes them more visible. It just increases everybody’s safety on the highway,” said Lt. Mark Hollandsworth, public information officer with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Organizers say this comes at an important time when people may have tighter budgets than normal.
“We’re getting close to November and Christmas shopping and things like that are about to take place. This will give folks who may be in a tight spot and have to make that choice between buying a gift or fixing their car — this will give them a little bit of help,” Hollandsworth said.
Both say this partnership not only promotes safety but trust as well.
“When I had the opportunity to jump on this partnership and really build trust with us and then build trust with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, I thought it was a good opportunity,” Burns said.
“In recent years the perception of police has not been the most positive,” shared Hollandsworth. “This is just another way to increase awareness that we’re out there to help and not to just give them a traffic summons or whatever the case may be.”
Members of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce were also at the announcement. They say it takes a community and a village to make these types of partnerships happen.
The sheriff’s office will be giving the gift cards out in phases as they distribute them to their deputies starting next week. With DMV Highway Safety enforcement and National Drowsy Driving Awareness Week coming in the next few months, they say they’ll have plenty of opportunities to pass them out. They will be redeemable at any Advance Auto Parts location.