The members of the Halifax, Virginia police force recently surprised drivers with a new type of traffic stop, one certain to receive a popular reception during the height of summer’s heat along the Eastern Seaboard. As a goodwill gesture, officers armed with ice chests and a supply of refreshing ice cream cones stopped drivers for violating fictional “Vehicle Code 1739”. What does that charge involve? Failing to drive with an ice cream cone on a hot day!
Police Chief Kevin Lands and his officers launched the creative initiative as a way to enhance community relations. The surprise traffic stops result in a gift of ice cream cones from the department to everyone in a vehicle. The gesture delighted many drivers recently in the Virginia community. Reportedly, police officers in St. Louis implemented a similar program to give cones to youngsters this summer, and the Halifax officers modeled their program along the lines of that campaign.
One officer in Halifax reported to a news channel that the police had handed out 20 ice cream cones in a single day. Their police cameras caught some of the surprised reactions of drivers.
One of these videos recently went viral online. It shows a uniformed officer speaking with a driver and her passenger. The officer had stopped a light blue sedan. As the officer addressed the young woman behind the wheel, she appeared visibly nervous. Her anxious expression transformed into a huge smile as the policeman explained that drivers in Halifax should not drive without ice cream cones on hot summer days. Both the driver and her passenger erupted into laughter as the officer then handed them both ice cream cones.
The initiative by the Halifax police may well increase summertime traffic through the community. The pleased responses of drivers when they received the gift of an ice cream cone instead of an unwelcome traffic citation or warning amused the officers, also!