Virginia police give woman ‘heart attack’... & ice cream cone

© Kevin Lands
Most people are pulled over by police for some sort of obvious traffic violation: speeding, failure to signal, etc. But in Halifax, Virginia, drivers can be stopped for a very different reason ‒ not having an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

In an era where “driving while black” is a common complaint ‒ meaning an African-American driver has committed no traffic violations but is still stopped by police ‒ the Halifax Police Department decided to engage in their own version of community policing.

As temperatures hit the 90s across southern Virginia, Halifax Police Chief Kevin Lands and Officer Brian Warner pulled over a woman.

“Are you aware of why I pulled you over today?” Warren asks in a video posted to the chief’s Facebook page.

“No. I mean, no sir,” she answers.

“Are you familiar with vehicle code 1739?” he then asks. The driver appears perplexed. “Well, it’s actually against the law to drive on a hot day without an ice cream cone. So on behalf of the Halifax Police Department, we’re just making sure everybody is following all the laws today and are driving with ice cream.”

The woman begins laughing, visibly relieved. Warren and Lands then hand the driver and her passenger an ice cream cone.

The two officers offered the sweet treats because they "wanted to try and put some smiles on people's faces," Lands told WTKR.

For the record, there is no such law, in Halifax or the rest of the commonwealth. The relevant chapter of the Virginia vehicle code ‒ Chapter 17, on driver training schools ‒ only goes up to section 1707.