Suffolk insurer sponsors trucking safety awards

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The Virginia Trucking Association presented its 2022 Safety Awards during its recent Safety and Human Resources Conference at the Virginian Hotel in Lynchburg. The VTA safety awards are sponsored by Nansemond Insurance Agency of Suffolk.

Tommy Clapsaddle of Covington and a driver for Houff Transfer Inc. in Weyers Cave, was named the 2022 Virginia Truck Driver of the Year. Clapsaddle, a Navy veteran, has been a professional truck driver for 42 years. During his career he has accumulated over 3 million miles of accident-free driving with zero traffic violations or citations.

He also performed a deed of heroism by rescuing a motorist from their car after it ran off the road into a swamp on Interstate 95 in North Carolina.


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J.D. Newman Inc. of Elkwood was presented the 2022 Grand Trophy for Fleet Safety in Virginia. This award is presented to the company that was judged to have had the state’s most effective motor carrier safety program during 2021.

J.D. Newman won the award in its division with a DOT recordable accident frequency rate of 0 in Virginia and 0 lost workday cases. In 2021, J.D. Newman’s fleet traveled 2.3 million accident-free miles in Virginia and had 15 roadside safety inspections with no violations.

Chris Taggart of Atlantic Bulk Carrier in Providence Forge was named the Safety Professional of the Year. This award is presented to a person responsible for directing or supervising safety activities of a VTA member trucking fleet and who is “of high moral character and devoted their career to the field of highway and industrial safety.”

Under Taggart’s leadership, Atlantic Bulk has reduced its crash frequency to 0.063 and injury rate to 0.674. He has given his time and efforts to support safety in trucking as a member of the VTA’s Safety and Human Resources Committee, including service as chairman.