Rural carrier honored for safe driving record

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 30, 2006

SOUTH POINT — Steve Belcher has reached a milestone that few drivers ever do. One that is made even more impressive because he drives more than 50 miles a day along the rural, winding roads of Lawrence County.

Belcher, a rural postal carrier with the South Point Post Office, has been honored with a “Million Mile Award” from the National Safety Council. The award recognizes drivers of all professions who drive more than a million miles without an accident, be it one caused by him or someone else.

Belcher has been a carrier for 36 years and delivers mail on County Road 56, on Lick Creek, County Road 243, Rankins Creek and other roads and hollows in between.

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Kathleen Parker, manager of post office operations, said Belcher’s achievement is something that is attained by only a few select drivers.

Parker, who has previously served as postmaster at several local post offices, described Belcher as one of the best (carriers) she has ever worked with.

“We’ve never gotten a complaint about him. Usually when someone calls it’s always a compliment,” she said.

Dave Manring, South Point postmaster, echoed those sentiments. He said being a recipient of the “Million Mile Award” puts Belcher in a very elite group.

“He is a very conscientious carrier,” said Manring, who also serves as the officer in charge at the Ironton post office. “He really cares about the people on his route. He knows everybody, the parents, the kids, just everybody.”

Belcher said he was humbled by the award, though it was not a complete surprise to him. He knew that the award was available and that he was probably eligible.

He loves what he does, Belcher said, and that has made staying on the job more than three decades easy.

“I really like it. I love being outside,” Belcher explained. “I’ve had very few problems over the years.”

Also, he said good co-workers and bosses and a good work environment have also attributed to his success on the job.

He said flooding and icy roads have been the two worst parts of his job. The month of January is usually pretty difficult, too, he said, because of the high volume of bulk mail.

Terry Wise, one of Belcher’s 16 co-workers at the post office, said Belcher was a great guy, whom he has never seen get mad.

“We are kind of like a family here,” Wise said.

Belcher and his wife, Dequilla, live on a 48-acre farm in Deering. They have two daughters, one grandson, one granddaughter and another granddaughter on the way.