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Virginia Rest Areas Sponsored by Geico

Virginia is first in nation to launch sponsorship program to defray operational costs with a focus on reducing distracted driving. Yes, the iconic lizard will be on the signs.

Virginia is now the first state in the country to have sponsored rest areas.

As a part of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Sponsorship, Advertising and Vending Enhancement (SAVE) initiative, Geico will be sponsoring 43 Virginia safety rest areas and welcome centers in order to help defray the costs of operation. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) made the announcement Thursday.

According to a release from the governor’s office, in April, 2010, McDonnell reopened all of the Commonwealth’s closed rest area facilities that now serve an estimated 33 million visitors each year. 

“A three-year contract was awarded to CRH Catering Co., Inc. based in Connellsville, Pa. (with locations in Richmond and Norfolk) to develop and manage a new program to generate additional revenues to help offset operating costs of Virginia rest areas and welcome centers, which total approximately $21 million each year,” said the release.

According to the governor’s office, the contract requires CRH to pay VDOT approximately $2 million annually in revenue generated by the vending program and the new Geico sponsorship.

WTOP reported that the Geico gecko will be on rest area signs.

The new program will include highway signs that direct drivers to Virginia’s safety rest areas and welcome centers where they can safely use their phones.

“My administration has moved aggressively to find innovative solutions for maintaining and operating Virginia's rest areas and welcome centers, which provide a safe place for travelers to rest and gather information about the many attractions and services Virginia has to offer,” said McDonnell in a release. “By partnering with the private sector, we are not only keeping our rest areas open, but we are making our roads safer by discouraging distracted driving.”

For more on the Geico signs, read the full release from VDOT.  

Sherry Cruz August 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I think the idea is great in theory but I'm afraid it just may be a haven for carjackers, thieves and the like. Once "they", the criminals realize people are just sitting in their cars like easy prey I'm afraid the crime rate in VA will only climb and sadly innocent people may be hurt, raped or even killed for just doing the "right" thing.
Lindsay August 31, 2012 at 01:39 PM
What? Rest areas a haven for criminals? And a Geico sponsorship has to do with this in what way? Did we read the same article?
Liam August 31, 2012 at 05:59 PM
This is a great idea. It won't make me vote for the Governor but it does make me proud to be a GEICO insured.

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