RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Insurance giant GEICO is going to become a lot more familiar to travelers who visit Virginia's 43 Interstate rest stops, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced on Thursday.
The company has signed on to sponsor "safe phone zones" at the rest stops, part of an initiative by Gov. Bob McDonnell to defray the operating costs of the roadside stops.
The safe phone zones are areas where motorists can park and safely use their mobile phones for making calls as well as texting, surfing the Web and using other smartphone apps — activities that can result in a ticket if done while driving.
A Pennsylvania firm, CRH Catering Co., has been awarded the contract to provide vending services. The concessionaire has offices in Richmond and Norfolk and already manages vending and some advertising at Interstate highway rest stops in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.
The three-year contract requires CRH combined with its new GEICO sponsorship partner to generate about $2 million a year in revenues for the Virginia Department of Transportation.