Stay safe, and green, this December

Published 9:47 pm Monday, December 2, 2019

The Pilot Club of Suffolk has brought back its Safety Tree to remind drivers to stay safe on the roads in December.

The annual Safety Tree was lit bright green on Sunday at the Suffolk Elks Lodge on West Constance Road. The green lights on the tree will remain lit through Dec. 31, and the Suffolk Police Department will replace one of the green bulbs on the tree with a red one in the event of a traffic fatality in Suffolk during the month of December.

According Pilot Club of Suffolk Vice President Cathy Richards, there was one Suffolk traffic fatality — and one red bulb on the tree — last year.

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“It’s a reminder for people that drive by and see the green tree to drive safe,” Richards said. “This is a busy time of year and people tend to be very anxious to get where they’re going in a hurry. It’s just a reminder to drive safe and take your time, because we want the tree to stay green.”

Richards thanked the Suffolk Police Department for supporting this tradition that’s been carried on for more than 30 years.

She also thanked the Knights of Columbus Suffolk Council 7363 for donating the tree this year, and the Suffolk Elks Lodge for allowing the Pilot Club to put the tree at their location on West Constance Road.

“The Pilot Club of Suffolk is a community organization. We give back to the community, and this is just one of our ways of giving to people in the community — by reminding them to drive safe,” Richards said.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been no automobile fatalities in Suffolk this December, according to city spokeswoman Diana Klink.