March 24, 2015
Thinking of drinking and driving? What if your car won't let you?
Researchers look at the societal payoff associated with installing alcohol ignition interlock devices in all new cars as a primary injury prevention policy
If every new car made in the United States had a built-in blood alcohol level tester that prevented impaired drivers from driving the vehicle, how many lives could be saved, injuries prevented, and injury-related dollars left unspent?
Researchers at the University of Michigan Injury Center and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute studied the impact of installing these alcohol ignition interlock devices in all newly purchased vehicles over a 15-year period; their estimates of injury prevention and cost savings are significant. Read more
March 23, 2015
Virginia takes part in National Work Zone Awareness Week
VDOT Memorial Vigil is Wednesday evening
During National Work Zone Awareness Week, observed this year through Friday, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) joins the highway contracting community and federal, state and local transportation officials to educate motorists about the potential dangers we all face while driving through work zones.
This year’s national theme – “Expect the Unexpected” – emphasizes the changing conditions that occur during the busy roadway construction season. Read more
March 22, 2015
Va. Beach red-light camera study shows decline in crashes
There have been fewer crashes - from fender-benders to frequently fatal T-bone collisions - at intersections monitored by red-light cameras than there were before the cameras were installed, a five-year city study of the program shows. Read more
OPINION: Laws on drinking age are causing more problems than they solve
If 18-year-olds can enter into contracts, vote, serve on juries and fight our wars, we've already made the decision that they should be treated like adults. That should include allowing them to drink. Legally and responsibly. Because of existing laws, many are drinking illegally and irresponsibly. Read more
March 21, 2015
The driver's license of the future is coming to your smartphone
A few states have begun the journey toward offering a digital version of your driver's license that would reside on your phone. But the going could be stop and go for a while.
Delaware is among several US states -- including the bellwether of California -- considering digital driver's licenses, and prototypes will go into pilot tests in some places this year. If those tests go well, the first smattering of virtual licenses could be offered to the public as early as 2016.
The digital version would resemble your printed license, with the same information, including your name, address and date of birth, along with a photo. And just as your printed license contains a scannable barcode so machines can read the information, so too would the digital version. Read more
Del Chap Petersen: "Charlottesville Debacle Raises Questions About Drinking Laws"
The unnecessary use of force at UVA raises a larger issue — why are we devoting any law enforcement resources to arresting 20 year old college students for drinking alcohol?
The shift to the “21 or over” drinking age was led in the Eighties by the Federal government, who tied Federal highway funds to mandatory changes in state law. (Talk about coercion!). Virginia, like every other state, had no other choice but to fall in line. While the Federal effort had the laudable purpose of reducing DWI violations, it created the absurdity that college-age young people could not legally drink any form of alcohol. Read more
March 13, 2015
Don't Let the End of Your Rainbow Be a Jail Cell; Designate a Sober Driver St. Patrick's Day & Drive to Save Lives
Virginia State Police Reminds Everyone Buzzed Driving is Still Drunk Driving
RICHMOND – With three days left until St. Patrick’s Day, the clock is ticking to find a designated driver because choosing one isn’t being lucky, but smart. If you are one of the many celebrating at a festival, street party or attending a parade this weekend or March 17, remember Virginia State Police will be on patrol looking for individuals who fail to make the responsible choice and choose to drink and drive. Read more
March 11, 2015
Police Enforcement: A Critical Component For Changing the Behavior of Road Users
The Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety provides support for implementation of evidence-based road safety interventions in 10 cities around the world. Those interventions require police enforcement of road safety laws such as helmet and seat-belt wearing, drinking and driving, and speed reduction. Enforcing these road safety laws, which are proven to save lives, are relatively commonplace in the United States. In many low- and middle-income cities, however, a “culture of safety” is not prioritized. Read more
February 17, 2015
Governor McAuliffe Signs Legislation Enabling Transportation Network Companies to Legally Operate in Virginia
RICHMOND – Today Governor McAuliffe signed SB1025 and HB1662, which established licensing procedures for transportation network companies (TNC’s) like Uber and Lyft to legally operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Earlier this year, Governor McAuliffe and Attorney General Herring’s offices worked with the Department of Motor Vehicles and TNC companies to find a compromise that allowed these entities to temporarily operate in Virginia until the General Assembly passed permanent legislation. Read more
February 16, 2015
General Assembly Passes Bill from Attorney General Herring and Delegate Lopez to Ban Dangerous Powdered Alcohol
RICHMOND (February 16, 2015) -- Today, the Senate unanimously passed a bill from Attorney General Mark R. Herring and Delegate Alfonso Lopez (49-Arlington) to ban the importation, sale, and use of powdered or crystalline alcohol. The bill was previously approved unanimously by the House of Delegates and it will now go to Governor Terry McAuliffe for his signature. The use of powdered alcohol presents a substantial risk for abuse, especially by young people, because it can be easily transported, hidden or consumed due to its discrete, compact packaging. It could be sprinkled into to someone's drink without their knowledge, snorted through the nose potentially leading to brain damage, and could easily be over-consumed resulting in alcohol poisoning. Powdered alcohol is currently banned in seven states, with several other state legislatures considering similar measures, even as the manufacturer pushes to get the product to market this spring. Read more
February 9, 2015
Transportation Safety Awards Recognize Crash Reduction Efforts
Applications Due March 6, 2015
RICHMOND - The outstanding efforts made by individuals and organizations to change the behaviors of Virginia's motorists leading to crash, injury and fatality reduction may be nominated for the 2015 Virginia Governor's Transportation Safety Awards. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles' Highway Safety Office is accepting nominations through March 6, 2015 for 13 different transportation safety categories.
Entries will be judged on creativity, imagination, uniqueness, the impact on the community, and the use of volunteers and private sector resources. Individuals, organizations, businesses or government agencies are eligible for these awards based on transportation safety activities and programs that took place during 2014. Read more...
February 9, 2015
February 28 is Deadline for Transportation Safety Grant Applications
Submissions Accepted Through DMV Website
RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office (VAHSO) is accepting applications for grants to support programs throughout Virginia that strive to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. The deadline for transportation safety grant submissions is February 28, 2015.
The funding period for approved applications is October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. Applicants selected for the program participate on a cost-reimbursement basis. Read more...
February 6, 2015
NHTSA Releases Two New Studies on Impaired Driving on U.S. Roads
Drunk driving declines, while drug use behind the wheel rises
WASHINGTON – The nation’s decades-long campaign to combat drunk driving continues to make our roads safer, but use of marijuana and prescription drugs is increasingly prominent on the highways, creating new safety questions, according to a pair of ground-breaking studies released today by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
One study, the latest version of NHTSA’s Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, found that the number of drivers with alcohol in their system has declined by nearly one-third since 2007, and by more than three-quarters since the first Roadside Survey in 1973. But that same survey found a large increase in the number of drivers using marijuana or other illegal drugs. In the 2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety. Read more
LCSO & Virginia State Police Join Efforts to Curb Aggressive Driving
Loudoun County, VA- The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police are joining efforts in a campaign to curb aggressive and impaired driving in the area of Route 15 and Route 50 in Loudoun County.
The campaign is to address safety concerns in this corridor for motorists using Route 15 and Route 50. In recent years the corridor has been impacted by serious crashes from drivers following too close, as well as distracted and impaired drivers. Read more
January 29, 2015
State police: Leaving the scene of a crash is illegal
The Virginia State Police is reminding drivers that leaving the scene of an accident that involves injury, death or damage to property is a crime. Police say five pedestrians and one bicyclist have been struck and killed in eight hit-and-run crashes across Virginia. Read more
December 15, 2014
RICHMOND – This holiday season, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) Highway Safety Office is reminding motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Law enforcement officers across the country – and Virginia – will be out in full force now through January 1 actively searching for drunk drivers.
DMV Reminds Virginians to "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over"
Semi-Annual Crackdown on Drunk Driving Gets Under Way
December 1, 2014
Virginia Experiences Fewest Traffic Deaths Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend in More Than Two Decades
RICHMOND – Despite the challenging weather at the start of the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend in Virginia, preliminary numbers indicate a record decline in traffic fatalities over the holiday statistical counting period. From 12:01 a.m., Wednesday (Nov. 26, 2014), through midnight Sunday (Nov. 30, 2014), five fatal crashes have been reported statewide. During the 2013 five-day period, traffic crashes claimed a total of 12 lives. 1992 was the last time Virginia had only five traffic deaths during the Thanksgiving weekend.* Read more
November 21, 2014
Zero Tolerance for Traffic Violations During Thanksgiving Mobilization
Law enforcement targets unbelted motorists
The November Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization begins in Virginia on Friday, Nov. 21 and continues through the Thanksgiving holiday. Law enforcement will be enforcing all traffic laws, with a special emphasis on seat belt and child safety seat laws. During last year’s five-day Thanksgiving holiday period, there were 11 fatalities, and eight of them were unrestrained. Plus, alcohol was a factor in at least four of the fatal crashes. This annual November Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization is designed to prevent needless tragedies on our roadways, and to make sure motorists and passengers know that officers will be diligently patrolling Virginia’s roadways. Read more
November 10, 2014
DMV Now Testing Commercial Drivers with Missing or Impaired Limbs
Virginia is first state granted exemption from FMCSA
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is making it easier for qualified disabled citizens to obtain the required certification to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV). DMV is now issuing Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificates previously only issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Read more
September 30, 2014
"Big Three" Highway Safety Challenges Top State Safety Chief's Agenda
GHSA Chairman will also focus on distracted driving, pedestrian safety and teen drivers
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Kendell Poole, Director of the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office, was re-elected for a third term as chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), at the association's Annual Meeting, held earlier this month in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GHSA is the national nonprofit organization that represents the state and territorial state highway safety offices across the country. Read more
September 25, 2014
Governor Debuts Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving Site to Combat DUI in Commonwealth
Leads Remembrance Event to Pay Tribute to State’s Victims of Drunk Driving
Richmond, VA – Following last year’s increase in drunk driving fatalities – the first rise in six years – Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe unveiled a powerful new tool to keep drunk drivers off of the Commonwealth’s roadways: The Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving website. The governor dedicated the Tumblr site to those taken by drunk driving, as well as survivors and led a remembrance of their lives with Virginia’s top law enforcement and highway safety officials.Read more
July 17, 2014
REPORT: More Teens Dying in Accidents Without Seat Belts
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Shocking new numbers show more teens that are dying in car crashes are not wearing their seat belts. That's according to a new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association. According to the report, there was a six percent increase in the number of fatal accidents involving teens who were not wearing their seat belts between 2009 and 2012. Janet Brooking from Drive Smart Virginia says education is the key to getting more teens to buckle up when they get into a car. Read more
July 15, 2014
Crashes, deaths dropped after tough Va. DUI laws
DUI fatalities in Virginia have dropped by 21 percent since 2005, according to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles statistics. Crashes related to drinking and driving have fallen about 30 percent. Convictions for the offense have stayed relatively steady. Read more
July 11, 2014
DMV Urges Caution After Recent Fatal Motorcycle Crashes
Warm Weather Means Increase in Riders; Safety, Proper Training are Encouraged
RICHMOND – As this weekend approaches, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is urging caution after seven motorcyclists have died on Virginia’s roads over the past two weekends—four over the Fourth of July holiday and three the weekend of June 28. Read more
Over 1400 texting and driving convictions in Virginia
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -So far, Virginia's convicted 1427 people of texting while driving, that's double what we saw 6 months ago. The law just celebrated one year on the books in the Commonwealth. NBC12 requested statistics from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The agency only has 10 months of data right now and won't have the entire picture until September. Northern Virginia localities had the most convictions: Fairfax County with 318, Prince William County with 130. They were followed by Virginia Beach with 126 convictions. Read more
July 8, 2014
Crunching the data on our most accident-prone roads
Like rotten children, some of Hampton Roads' most accident-prone intersections and freeways are behaving far worse than they should. Researchers have crunched the data and come up with another way to look at those harrowing spots. A new analysis by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization quantified the potential for reducing accidents at hundreds of locations and offered possible fixes for the highest-ranking intersections and freeways. Read more...
Here's your speeding ticket
New 'e-ticket machines' may be newest tool in police arsenal
MIDDLETOWN -- Speeding fines in counties and cities could increase by up to $5, after a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe this spring allows jurisdictions to tack on an extra fee to fund electronic summons systems. Middletown Police Chief Phil Breeden presented the ordinance, Section 17.1-279.1, to Town Council during its work session on Monday. Read more...
July 7, 2014
Eight Fatalities Reported During 2014 July Fourth Holiday
Crashes Involved Motorcycles, ATV’s, and Pedestrians
RICHMOND – Preliminary numbers indicate that eight individuals died in eight crashes during the 2014 Fourth of July holiday weekend. In 2013, seven people were killed in traffic crashes over a four-day holiday weekend.* The holiday statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 4, 2014, and concluded at midnight Sunday, July 6, 2014. Read more
Fourteen Honored for Making Lifesaving Decision to Buckle Up
The Saved by the Belt Awards Committee recently selected fourteen individuals — including two law enforcement officers — to receive the Virginia Saved by the Belt Award.The awards were presented between April and June 2014. Click here to read their stories
July 2, 2014
Professional Truck Drivers Urge Virginians to Follow Safe Driving Tips During 4th of July Holiday
RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Trucking Association is urging the more than 1 million Virginians that AAA projects will travel by automobile during the July 4th holiday to practice cuation and patience to ensure our roads are safe.
Nationwide, AAA expects about 41 million Americans to travel at least 50 miles or more. That's up about 2% from the 40.3 million who traveled during last year's Independence Day weekend. About 85% will take their trips by car.
Additional motorists and road conditions can lead to dangerous situations, so a team of elite professional truck drivers are offering advice on how to navigate through highway traffic and arrive at your destination safely. Members of America's Road Team - an elite group of professional truck drivers - with more than 470 years collective driving experience and 30 million-plus accident-free miles, have several safety tips for motorists traveling the highways this holiday. Read more
June 27, 2014
Summer Brings Youth-Specific Dangers for Teens
Traffic Fatalities Increase; Underage Drinking a Risk
RICHMOND – While summer is a fun time for students to enjoy the freedom of being out of school, parents and teens should be aware of a number of youth-specific dangers, including traffic fatalities and underage drinking. Teenagers have a greater chance of dying in cars during the summer than any other time throughout the year. Read more
June 26, 2014
New Law Should Decrease Fatalities and Injuries on Virginia Roads
RICHMOND – Virginia’s roads should be safer for bicyclists across Virginia beginning July 1. That’s when a new law requiring motorists to pass bicyclists by three feet goes into effect. Virginia law currently requires a motorist to pass a bicyclist by two feet. The Commonwealth is the twenty-first state to pass a three foot law. Pennsylvania requires four feet. Read more
June 16, 2014
Arlington Co., Va. Police Will Enforce Virginia’s Uber and Lyft Ban
After Virginia ordered Uber and Lyft to stop operating in the state, both companies said they would basically pretend it hadn't happened and continue operating normally. In other places where ride-share companies have ignored orders from local authorities to stop operating, police sting operations and prosecution have been just some of the consequences for the companies. The question in Virginia was, since the state was ordering the ban, how would local law enforcement handle it. The Arlington County Police Department at least, said it will be enforcing the new ban, according to a report from ARLnow. Read more
June 12, 2014
Governor's 2014 Transportation Safety Awards Announced
Groups and Citizens Recognized for Commitment to Saving LIves
RICHMOND – House of Delegates Committee on Transportation Chairman Tom Rust presented awards to the winners of the 2014 Governor's Transportation Safety Awards during a ceremony at the Capitol on Thursday, June 12, 2014. “Our Commonwealth is committed to developing and implementing traffic safety strategies that save lives,” said Delegate Rust. “I was delighted to be a part of honoring the men and women who devote their time to making Virginia’s roads safer every day.” Read more
June 5, 2014
DMV Enourages Customers to "Know Your Ride"
If It's Not on the List, It's Not Recommended
RICHMOND – Whether you are hailing a cab back to your hotel after a day of walking in historic Old Town Alexandria, chartering a bus to take a large crew to Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion for the day, arranging transportation home after a night out on the town, or hiring a limo for a luxury ride to a late-spring or summer wedding, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) urges Virginians to consider safety and security when using a for-hire transportation service. Read more
June 1, 2014
June Is "Move Over Awareness Month" in Virginia
2014 Public Service Announcement (PSA) Produced & Launched on Social Media
RICHMOND – Beginning in 2014, and for each subsequent year in the Commonwealth, the month of June is now designated as "Move Over Awareness Month." The recognition comes following Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 102 during the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session. The declaration is intended to provide further support to Virginia's public safety campaign aimed at increasing drivers' awareness concerning the protection of public safety professionals and highway safety workers, to include safety service patrols on Virginia's roads. Read more
May 22, 2014
Virginia DMV Launches Instagram Account; Encourages Virginians to Snap "Safety Selfies"
RICHMOND – Virginians are encouraged to get out their cell phone cameras, snap a self-portrait of them buckled up while parked and share it on social media sites using the hashtag #SafetySelfieVA. Virginia DMV will search for and post these buckled-up selfies daily on its new Instagram page. Read more...
May 1, 2014
NETS, Liberty Mutual Insurance offer free electronic parent-teen driving guide
Vienna, Va. – To help parents coach teens in developing the skills to be safe drivers, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and Liberty Mutual Insurance have joined forces to release an electronic edition of The Novice Driver's Road Map: An 8-Step Guide for Parents® (eNDRM). The new guide is available now as a free download from the NETS website.
The eNDRM provides an easy-to-follow curriculum for parents or adult coaches to guide teens in the practice needed to become safe, focused drivers and licensed in nearly all states. The interactive electronic guide is built around a series of eight drives that increase in complexity. Each includes a checklist of practice skills along with a set of detailed instructions and space to add notes. The practice sessions progress from driving in an empty parking lot to driving at night and in inclement weather. A log is included to track practice hours that updates with the time accrued after each entry, a useful tool to assist with graduated driver licensing requirements. Read more...
March 28, 2014
Fairfax County Police launch new distracted driving training program
In recognition that April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Fairfax County Police Department held it’s first-ever distracted driver training session for FCPD officers. This goal of the training was to increase internal officer awareness on the reality of the dangers of distracted driving and underscore the importance of enforcement in this area. The class focus included: legal challenges, psychology, enforcement and current trends of distracted driving. Read more...
March 20, 2014
Virginia State Police joins International Association of Chiefs of Police, US Department of Transportation & State Police and Highway Patrol Agencies Nationwide to Commence Drive to Save Lives Campaign
Working Together to Reduce Highway Fatalities by 15 Percent in 2014
NEW ORLEANS, La. –Today, Virginia State Police Superintendent, Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, joined state police and highway patrol leaders from 40 other states along with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to announce the Drive to Save Lives Campaign at a press conference in New Orleans, La. Read more...
March 14, 2014
Wear Green St. Patrick's Day, But Avoid the Handcuffs!
Virginia State Police Conducting DUI Patrols & Checkpoints
RICHMOND – Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but not everyone designates a sober driver. Whether you are celebrating the green, white, and orange March 17th or this weekend, be smart and safe about it. If you drive – only drive sober. Read more...
March 6, 2014
"Text Later, Live Longer" Campaign Shows Dangers of Texting and Driving
An anti-texting-while-driving campaign that was started by two VCU police officers is now spreading across the country. Read more...
February 10, 2014
Transportation Safety Awards Recognize Crash Reduction Efforts
Applications Due March 12, 2014
RICHMOND - The outstanding efforts made by individuals and organizations to change the behaviors of Virginia's motorists leading to crash, injury and fatality reduction, may be nominated for the 2014 Virginia Governor's Transportation Safety Awards. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles' Highway Safety Office is accepting nominations through March 12, 2014 for 13 different transportation safety categories. Read more...
February 5, 2014
VA Highway Safety Office Accepting Applications for Highway Safety Grants
The grants are aimed at reducing traffic deaths and injuries, including programs that increase seat belt use, deter drunken driving and speeding and distracted driving, and promote motorcycle, pedestrian, bicycle, teen and senior driver safety. The deadline for the applications is February 28. Interested applicants must attend a workshop and apply online at www.dmvnow.com.
February 4, 2014
Photo-red cameras survive challenge
RICHMOND — Virginia localities that use cameras to detect and fine red-light violators can keep using them, a House of Delegates committee decided Tuesday. The House Transportation Committee voted 13-6 to reject a bill from Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge County, that would have banned the cameras statewide. Nearly 20 uniformed police officers from camera-using cities watched the bill go down. Read more...
IACP Posts February 2014 Traffic Safety Digest
Articles in this edition cover topics on speeding and impaired driving.
January 31, 2014
New Year, New Look for "Move Over" Bumper Decal
Virginia State Police Association Finances Decal Make-Over
RICHMOND, Va. – What displays the colors blue and gray, sticks to the back of your vehicle and intends to remind drivers of a decade-long law to protect first responders and highway safety workers? If you guessed Virginia’s “Move Over” bumper decal, you are right. With $3,500 in funding provided by the Virginia State Police Association (VSPA), the sticker underwent a recent transformation and emerged with a fresh, new look in the continual efforts to promote this life-saving law. Read more...
Texting-while-driving law nets 725 Va. convictions
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia had recorded 725 convictions during the first six months of a texting-while-driving law, which made the distracted-driving practice a primary offense. The preliminary numbers from the Department of Motor Vehicles cover a period from July 1 through the end 2013. They show that the majority of the convictions occurred in heavily traveled northern Virginia and the sprawling, densely populated Hampton Roads area, but virtually every county recorded at least one conviction. Read more...
January 29, 2014
Virginia State Police Cite 500-Plus Drivers for Texting While Driving
RICHMOND – In the first six months since Virginia’s texting-while-driving ban became a primary offense, Virginia State Police troopers have issued hundreds of citations for the violation. From July 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013, troopers stopped and charged 567 drivers for violating the state’s “texting- while-driving” law. Read more...
January 24, 2014
Bruce Smith does public service ad on drunk driving
Bruce Smith could have played it safe and said no. But when Anheuser-Busch officials asked him to do a public service announcement discouraging drunken driving during the Super Bowl, the Norfolk native quickly said yes, even if doing so might dredge up unhappy memories.
Smith, the former Booker T. Washington and Virginia Tech football star who holds the NFL record for career sacks, has agreed to do the ads that began running Wednesday on the Bud Light website and on YouTube. Although the ads won't run on commercial television, they are expected to generate a buzz on social media because they are the first the world's largest brewer has produced featuring someone convicted of driving under the influence. Read more...
January 13, 2014
New Kent Sheriff's Office receives state, national traffic safety awards
NEW KENT – The New Kent Sheriff's Office has been nationally recognized for its traffic safety programs. The sheriff's office was recently rewarded first place in the Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge and the National Law Enforcement Challenge, which judges similarly sized agencies. Dana Schrad, Executive Director of Virginia Chiefs of Police presented the sheriff's office with their awards on Jan. 13. According to Schrad, the sheriff's office's deputies are all trained in occupant protection, impaired driving, and speed, as well as "make an exemplary effort with their public information and education activities, as well as their enforcement measures." Read more / Watch video...
December 12, 2013
Martinsville police officers, Henry County deputies encouraged to wear seat belts
Virginia’s code exempts law enforcement officers from wearing seat belts, but local agencies want them to buckle up like everyone else unless it puts their safety at risk. “I stress our officers obey the laws like everyone else” and buckle up, said Interim Police Chief Eddie Cassady. Read more...
Half Of Police Officers Don't Wear Seat Belts, Study Says
While 86 percent of Americans now wear seat belts, an upcoming study that will be published by California's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training estimates that roughly half of law enforcement officers don't wear them. With traffic-related fatalities the leading cause of death of officers on duty, departments nationwide are buckling down to get officers to buckle up. Read more...
NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland resigns
Strickland has headed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for four years, as a key player in then-Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s safety-first initiatives against distracted driving, drunk driving and roadway safety. Read more...
Texas teen Ethan Couch gets 10 years' probation for driving drunk, killing 4
(CNN) -- To the families of the victims, Ethan Couch was a killer on the road, a drunken teenage driver who caused a crash that left four people dead. To the defense, the youth is himself a victim -- of "affluenza," according to one psychologist -- the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for the boy. Read more...
December 11, 2013
Leesburg High Schools Wage ‘Battle of the ‘Burg’ for Seatbelt Awareness
The annual police-sponsored competition aims to encourage teens to buckle up. Read more...
December 3, 2013
New Law Allows Temporary Deactivation of Vehicle License Plates
Major Benefit for Virginia Military; Motorcycle and RV Owners
RICHMOND – Starting January 1, 2014, customers who operate Virginia-registered vehicles for only part of the year may temporarily deactivate their license plates and cancel the insurance without having to surrender the plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This new law will be beneficial for owners of seasonal vehicles such as motorcycles and RVs and active duty members of the military on deployment, if the vehicle is not being used. Read more
VIDEO: Police Don't Understand Reluctance to Buckling Up
It's something that only takes five seconds, which is why many troopers find it troubling that it seems to be too much time for some drivers for that extra step that could save your life. Watch video...
December 2, 2013
Thanksgiving Weekend Traffic Crashes Claim 11 Lives
Alcohol a Factor in Four of the Crashes
Preliminary reports confirm traffic crashes on Virginia’s highways claimed 11 lives during the statistical counting period for the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Of those 11 killed, eight were not wearing seat belts. Alcohol was a factor in at least four of the fatal traffic crashes. Read more
November 26, 2013
Albemarle Co. Police: Click It or Ticket Campaign Underway
The Albemarle County Police Department is reminding drivers to buckle up and slow down during the busy Thanksgiving travel season. Read more...
VIDEO: Safety tips for senior drivers
Safety tips for senior drivers are available through Carfit, a program recently hosted by The Virginia Division of Aging. http://bit.ly/1c22iTO
November 20, 2013
Taking a look at flaws in texting law
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - When you get behind the wheel, chances are at some point, a driver in front of you, behind you, or right beside you will be distracted. There’s a good chance that person will be texting. Virginia's new texting law is aimed to protect you, but 10 On Your Side learned it has flaws. READ MORE
November 4, 2013
One-in-Four Drivers Report Struggling to Stay Awake While Behind the Wheel
Motorists Ages 19-24 Most Likely to Drive Fatigued Despite Crash Risks
RICHMOND, VA (Monday, November 4, 2013) – More than one in four motorists (28 percent) reported being so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open while driving in the past month, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Motorists ages 19-24 were the most likely to report driving dangerously drowsy at 33 percent, while the oldest drivers (ages 75+) and the youngest (ages 16-18) were the least likely to report having done so in the previous month at 22 percent each. READ MORE
After fatal crash, some ask: How old is too old to drive?
Laws restricting aging drivers are sparse, though. In Virginia, the only regulation governing them is that, beginning at age 80, they must pass a vision test when they renew their license - once every eight years. Younger drivers are tested every 16 years.Read more
October 23, 2013
State Police issue more than 300 citations for texting
Virginia State Police say they have cited more than 300 motorists statewide for texting while driving during the first three months of a new Virginia law that makes it a primary rather than a secondary traffic offense. But Tuesday’s announcement comes as state officials are still struggling with how to interpret the finer points of the law and putting into place standardized training for state and local police officers on how to enforce it. Read more
October 1, 2013
Students Across Canada Find Eating and Drinking Biggest Driver Distraction During Morning Rush Hour
TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 01, 2013) - High school students across Canada were out in force at busy intersections this morning, to see if legislation to deter distracted driving is working. Students in 10 Canadian cities observed 2,866 distracted drivers in a one hour period, suggesting that many drivers are not taking the dangers of this behaviour seriously. Added to the 1,091 distractions spotted by Allstate Canada Agents in six other cities, a total of 3,957 distracted drivers were logged in just one hour this morning. Read more
September 26, 2013
CSI: DUI – Virginia Governor Examines the Science behind Virginia’s DUI Detection
Commonwealth Touts Five-Consecutive Years of Declining DUI Deaths
Richmond, VA – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell joined Virginia State Police, local law enforcement and highway safety leaders today in a demonstration of exactly what goes into identifying and apprehending drunk drivers in the Commonwealth as part of the launch of Virginia’s 2013 Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign. Officers put volunteers through the paces of such enforcement elements as a standard field sobriety test, a preliminary breath test and more to showcase the techniques responsible for helping reduce Virginia’s alcohol-related fatality numbers year after year. Read more
DRIVE SMART® Virginia Announces Leadership Awards to Virginia Lawmakers
Awards were presented at the First Annual Virginia Distracted Driving Summit
RICHMOND — DRIVE SMART Virginia announces that the Virginia Coalition for Distraction Free Driving has awarded 11 Virginia legislators for their commitment to increasing safety on Virginia's roadways by working to strengthen laws against distracted driving. The awards were presented during the First Annual Virginia Distracted Driving Summit in Richmond, where more than 300 attendees took advantage of panels about distracted driving research, corporate liability as well as efforts to reach teen drivers with a safety message. Read more
September 25, 2013
Virginia State Police & Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Partner to Promote "Move Over" Law
Safety and Law’s Importance Reasons for Joint Publicity Effort
RICHMOND, Va. – Nationwide Insurance and the Virginia State Police have joined together to promote Virginia’s Move Over law that protects the Commonwealth’s public safety personnel and all those who drive tow trucks and road maintenance vehicles.
Since 2003, 138 on-duty law enforcement officers have been struck and killed on the nation’s highways. This is the fourth leading cause of death for a law enforcement officer. *
“Nationwide is pleased to support Virginia State Police, the Protect Those Who Protect Youcampaign and stress the importance of Virginia’s Move Over Law,” said Orysia Meyers, Mid-Atlantic regional vice president, Nationwide Insurance. “Our agents and associates across the state will distribute these materials as part of this valuable information campaign.” Read more
September 4, 2013
Nine Individuals Die in Traffic Crashes During the Labor Day Holiday Weekend
One fatal crash involved a moped
RICHMOND – Preliminary numbers indicate that nine individuals died in nine crashes during the 2013 holiday weekend. In 2012, six people were killed in traffic crashes over a four-day holiday weekend.* Despite the slight increase in deaths from the previous Labor Day holiday, traffic fatalities are still lower overall in Virginia. According to preliminary numbers, as of Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, 458 lives have been lost to traffic crashes in the Commonwealth compared to 514 on the same date in 2012. Read more
July 26, 2013
Roanoke County police now keep records of traffic warnings
Officers have recorded 1,346 warnings since April 3, when the practice officially began.
A warning isn’t just a warning anymore for Roanoke County drivers. While a motorist escaping a traffic stop without a ticket may still breathe a sigh of relief, the violation doesn’t simply vanish in Roanoke County. Since April, Roanoke County police have been issuing and documenting written warnings. Read more...
Teens learn about traffic safety during leadership retreat
Nearly 200 teenagers steered, spun and crashed in driving simulators Thursday at Lynchburg College to learn about traffic safety.
They have been at the college since Tuesday for the 2013 summer leadership retreat sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety program, or YOVASO. Read more...
July 8, 2013
Fatal Traffic Crashes Claim Seven Lives Over 2013 Fourth of July Holiday Weekend
Three of the crashes involved motorcycles
RICHMOND – Of the seven fatal crashes to occur over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, three claimed the lives of motorcyclists. The three motorcycle crashes occurred in Fauquier County, Prince William County and the City of Hampton. The remaining four fatal crashes occurred in Amelia, Brunswick, Carroll and Warren counties. A total of seven people were killed in the crashes, down from 10 traffic deaths during the 2012 Independence Day holiday weekend. Read more...
June 28, 2013
DMV Notice to Va. Law Enforcement About Legislative Changes to Motorcycles & Mopeds
New laws taking effect on July 1, 2013 affect Virginians who ride mopeds and motorcycles. Brochures arriving at agencies to explain new requirements.
Beginning July 1, 2013, Virginia law requires every moped driver to carry a government-issued photo ID (does not have to be a driver’s license but ideally will show name, address and date of birth) and every driver and passenger must wear a helmet while riding a moped. Drivers must also wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles unless the moped has a windshield.
Celebrate Our Nation's Freedom This Fourth of July But If You Drive, Stay Free of Alcohol
Virginia State Police Step Up Patrols for Holiday Weekend
RICHMOND – Food, fireworks, family and friends are associated with the Independence Day holiday, unfortunately, so is a spike in traffic fatalities from impaired driving. During the 2011 July 4th holiday, 38 percent of the fatal crashes on the nation’s roads involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.* In Virginia last year, 10 percent of the crashes during the July 4th holiday were alcohol-related.**
In an effort to reduce the dangers of drinking and driving, Virginia State Police will step up patrols and enforcement as part of Operation C.A.R.E. The annual, nationwide, state-sponsored program, otherwise known as Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, concentrates on safe driving through strict traffic enforcement in an attempt to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. The 2013 statistical counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 4, 2013, and concludes at midnight Sunday, July 7, 2013. Read more...
June 25, 2013
Danville PD recognizes officers, citizens and media for traffic safety enforcement and promotional efforts
On Wednesday June 19, 2013, the Danville Police Department held its Annual Traffic Safety Awards Ceremony. A total of 11 officers, 3 citizens, and 3 media outlets were recognized for their efforts in promoting traffic safety during 2012. Additionally 1 citizen was recognized for the proper use of both seat belts and airbags during a traffic crash, the use of which most likely reduced more serious injury or even death.
Danville Police Chief Philip Broadfoot said efforts to increase traffic patrols have led to decreased car accidents and increased arrests that have helped lower the city’s violent crime rate. Read more...
June 24, 2013
Governor's 2013 Transportation Safety Awards Announced
Retired DMV District Program Manager Steve Goodwin honored with Lifetime Achievement Award
RICHMOND – House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe May presented awards to the winners of the 2013 Governor's Transportation Safety Awards during a ceremony at the Capitol on Thursday, June 20, 2013. The following individuals and organizations were honored for their outstanding contributions to transportation safety. Read more...
June 20, 2013
DMV Alerts Law Enforcement to Change to Disabled Parking Placard Receipt
DMV has revised the orange placard receipt issued to customers when DMV processes an application for a disabled parking placard. Since the actual disabled parking placard is mailed to the customer, the orange placard receipt is issued to customers who have been authorized to have temporary or permanent disabled parking privileges. They hang the placard receipt from their rearview mirror in their vehicle when parking in spaces designated for the disabled and while waiting to receive their disabled parking placard by mail. Read more...
June 18, 2013
Speakers Announced for Distracted Driving Summit Hosted by DRIVE SMART Virginia®
Summit will be held in Richmond on Sept. 19
Richmond, VA – The Virginia Coalition for Distraction Free Driving is pleased to announce an impressive list of nationally and internationally known experts who are scheduled to present the latest distracted driving research at the Virginia Distracted Driving Summit in Richmond, Virginia on Sept. 19. The speakers include leading researchers, business executives, law enforcement, legislators and federal government leaders. Read more...
June 18, 2013
"Operation Border to Border" Yields 1,855 Summonses & Arrests on Route 15 in Six States
684 Speeders & 260 Seat Belt Violators Cited; 28 DUI Arrests
Six state police and highway patrol agencies spent Friday, June 7, 2013, through Sunday, June 9, 2013, enforcing Operation Border to Border along approximately 791 miles of U.S. Route 15 in an effort to prevent traffic crashes along the heavily-traveled corridor. This coordinated traffic safety enforcement initiative resulted in 1,855 total summonses and arrests among the six states. No traffic fatalities occurred during the three-day project. Read more...
June 17, 2013
Roanoke Co. Police: Click It Or Ticket campaign working
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,300 lives could be saved each year if people had worn their seat belts. It's why law enforcement agencies across the country participate in the "Click It or Ticket" campaign -- including Roanoke County.
The agency just wrapped up its most recent enforcement period which ran from May 20 - June 2. During that two-week span, they increased patrols, ran checkpoints, and targeted specific areas with heavy traffic. They also ran a public education campaign to raise awareness about the importance of seatbelts and the dire consequences for not wearing one. Read more...
June 7, 2013
Prince William County Police Issue 1,522 Tickets During May "Click It or Ticket" Campaign
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Police issued 1,522 traffic summonses during this year’s “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt enforcement campaign, which ran May 20th to June 2nd. The largest numbers of tickets in any given category were issued for speeding, followed by reckless driving and seatbelt violations. Read more...
"Op Border to Border" — Va. State Police Participating in 6-State Enforcement Op to Reduce Crashes on 790+ Miles of US Route 151
Virginia State Police and five other state police and highway patrol agencies this weekend will engage in Operation Border to Border, a coordinated traffic safety enforcement initiative targeting approximately 791 miles of U.S. Route 15, which originates in Waterboro, S.C., and ends in Corning, N.Y. The corridor is a heavily-traveled thoroughfare for summer vacationers and for those attempting to avoid congested interstates serving all six states. Read more...
May 30, 2013
Tougher Laws on DWI, Distracted Driving Take Effect July 1
RICHMOND – New laws taking effect July 1, 2013 take a tougher stance on drinking and driving and driving while distracted. Under current law, a conviction of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is not considered a felony unless it is the third DWI conviction within 10 years. Effective July 1, any DWI conviction will be a felony if a person has a prior conviction of any of the following... Read more
May 28, 2013
VSP Report Seven Traffic-Related Deaths on Virginia's Highways Over Memorial Day Weekend
According to preliminary reports, Virginia experienced its first significant decline in Memorial Day weekend traffic deaths in several years. Not since 2009, have fatalities been in the single-digits for the four-day statistical counting period for the holiday weekend. From 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 24, 2013) through midnight Monday (May 27, 2013), preliminary numbers indicate seven people lost their lives in traffic deaths on Virginia’s highways. Read more...
Tractor trailer drivers in New Kent put 'Phone Down, Just Drive'
New Kent County, Virginia – DRIVE SMART Virginia and the New Kent County Sheriff’s Office have just completed phase two of Phone Down. Just Drive an education and enforcement project geared toward reducing the number of distracted truck and bus drivers on Interstate 64 in New Kent County, VA. Preliminary results show fewer than 5% of truck drivers are using a hand held phone while driving. Read more...
Police: U.S. 460 checkpoint death 'suspicious'
Details scarce, but police sergeant says 'external situations' may have contributed to crash
Police are treating the death of a Barboursville man who crashed Friday at a sobriety checkpoint on U.S. 460 as "suspicious."
Emerson Evans, 25, was driving a 1997 Honda CRV near the Campbell County/Bedford County line when he struck the rear of a Ford F-150 truck, police said.
Virginia State Police First Sgt. Michael Bailey said Tuesday that Evans was driving about 50 mph at the time. Read more...
May 17, 2013
Glen Allen High School wins ‘Arrive Alive’ contest
Glen Allen High School students will receive a day with the UNITE International Texting Simulator on May 21, after a group of students from the school won the 2013 “Arrive Alive PSA Contest,” sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), UNITE International, and the Virginia State Police Association (VSPA). Read more...
May 16, 2013
Checkpoint Kicks Off 'Click It or Ticket' Seat Belt Campaign
Lynchburg, VA – Police from all over Central Virginia come together for a traffic safety checkpoint.
The checkpoint Thursday afternoon at the Monacan Bridge kicked off the annual Click it or Ticket campaign. Law enforcement officers from Lynchburg, Campbell County, Amherst County, Bedford County, Bedford City, and State Police participated. The event is sponsored by the Central Virginia Highway Traffic Safety Board.
Nearly 650 cars passed through during the two hours of the checkpoint. Twelve tickets were written; eight for overdue inspections, one for an expired registration, one for defective equipment, and two were written to people driving without a license.
People were given warnings if they were not wearing their seatbelts. When the enforcement phase of the campaign begins next week, you will get a ticket if you are pulled over and aren't buckled up. WATCH VIDEO
April 24, 2013
New Study: Motorcyclist Deaths Spike in 2012
Approximately 5,000 Motorcyclist Fatalities Projected
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a new report released today, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is projecting that motorcyclist deaths increased approximately 9 percent in 2012, to more than 5,000 lives lost. This is greater than the overall traffic fatality increase projected by the federal government and would be the 14th out of the last 15 years in which motorcyclist deaths increased. Notably, this level of deaths closes in on an all-time high, and motorcyclists remain one of the few roadway user groups where no progress can be shown over the last decade. Read more
Henrico Police & Richmond International Raceway Release Safe Driving PSA (VIDEO)
Before you start your engines, designate a sober driver if you plan on consuming alcohol. Henrico Police & RIR want you to see the checkered flag, NOT blue lights!" Watch now
April 22, 2013
Fairfax Co. Police Send a Reminder: 50 MEANS 50
The Traffic Division of the Fairfax Co. PD will launch their weeklong initiative “50 Means 50” as they saturate the Fairfax County Parkway this week. The annual campaign kicked off on Sunday, April 21, and targets aggressive and reckless driving, speeding, texting while driving, following too closely, and failure to pay full time and attention on the Fairfax County Parkway. Read more
April 11, 2013
Instructions for Looking Up Special License Plates
Recently, there have been some questions about how to make a VCIN inquiry on special license plates. Although you generally enter license plate numbers as the numbers appear on the license plate of passenger cars, not all license plates can be queried this way. Read more
April 1, 2013
Campaign targets distracted truck drivers in New Kent County
NEW KENT — Truck and bus drivers be warned: you had better think twice if you are holding your cell phone while driving in New Kent, Virginia. DRIVE SMART Virginia, in partnership with the New Kent County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), will be conducting a distracted driving education and enforcement campaign this spring. Beginning April 8, truck and bus drivers traveling along Interstate 64 in New Kent County will come across a serious message: Phone Down. Just Drive. Read more
March 29, 2013
Rural motorists in Virginia found to lag in seat belt usage
RICHMOND-Motor vehicle drivers and passengers in rural Virginia are less likely to wear seat belts than those in other parts of the state, according to a statewide survey. They also are at greater risk of dying in traffic accidents, according to an analysis of state data by The Roanoke Times. Read more
Man convicted of driving 95 mph with six kids while high on heroin
HOPEWELL — When Hopewell sheriff’s Deputy Sean Godwin stopped Isaiah Hall last spring for speeding 95 mph on Interstate 295, he was surprised to see six children and another adult packed inside Hall’s van — none of them wearing safety belts or restrained in child seats.
The youngsters, as it turned out, were Hall’s grandchildren, ages 4, 6, 9, 12, 13 and 15. The family, which included Hall’s adult daughter, was returning to East Orange, N.J., after attending a funeral in North Carolina.
“No one had on a seat belt and there were two children who should have had been restrained in booster seats by Virginia law,” said Hopewell prosecutor Elisabeth Custalow. Read more
March 15, 2013
Henrico sets effort to curb teen drinking
‘Zero tolerance’ policyfor violators part of plan
In an effort to save the lives and preserve the health of our children, Chief Douglas A. Middleton, Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor and Dr. Pat Russo, Superintendent of Schools, have agreed to follow a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking. As a result, the Henrico County Police Division will take a zero tolerance approach to its underage drinking enforcement efforts. Read more
February 24-26, 2013
Making It Click – A Roanoke Times Special Report
Nearly 82 percent in Virginia, on average, buckle up. But the message isn’t getting through to everyone, especially in rural Virginia, where in some communities up to three-fourths of traffic fatalities involved unbelted drivers or passengers.
The Roanoke Times/roanoke.com in a special report has explored why the disparities exist. They also retrace failed efforts to strengthen Virginia’s seat belt law and look at new initiatives to educate young drivers. Read more
February 19, 2013
Texting while driving bill heads to Governor's desk where it faces uncertain fate
Legislation that would make texting while driving a primary offense and dramatically increase the fines for violators cleared the Senate today and now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell for consideration.
"The governor will review this legislation when we receive it," said McDonnell spokesman J. Tucker Martin. "However, he does continue to have concerns about beginning to list more specific activities that are prohibited while driving." Read more
February 16, 2013
Beefed-up texting ban advances to uncertain fate
RICHMOND - The General Assembly has a message for drivers: Keep your hands on the wheel and off your smartphone's keyboard That was again conveyed Friday when a Senate committee advanced compromise legislation to make fines for texting while driving more expensive and allow police to stop a driver for the offense. Safe driving advocates maintain that texting while driving is one of the more dangerous forms of distracted driving.
A spokesman for the governor said McDonnell will review the legislation when he receives it, noting he has some misgivings about the concept. Read more
February 14, 2013
Transportation Safety Awards Recognize Crash Reduction Efforts
Applications Due March 15, 2013
RICHMOND - The outstanding efforts made by individuals and organizations to change the behaviors of Virginia’s motorists leading to crash, injury and fatality reduction, may be nominated for the 2013 Virginia Governor’s Transportation Safety Awards. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office is accepting nominations through March 15, 2013 for 13 different transportation safety categories. Read more
February 11, 2013
Deadly wrecks in Central Virginia put focus on need to buckle up
Last year, car wrecks left empty desks at schools throughout the region. Hardest hit was Bedford County, where 21 people died. ... From 2008 to 2012 in Virginia, more people died in wrecks in which they weren’t wearing a seat belt than died in crashes involving alcohol or speeding. During those five years, 1,623 unrestrained drivers and passengers died in the commonwealth. Read more
November 20, 2012
Slow Down This Thanksgiving Holiday and Save Lives
VDOT Installs Additional “Move Over” Signs Across the State
RICHMOND – As the volume of traffic increases on Virginia’s highways for the Thanksgiving weekend, so will the number of Virginia State Police troopers on the road. State police will enhance its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts as part of Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). The program is intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints. Extra patrols willincrease throughout the Commonwealth beginning Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, at 12:01 a.m. through midnight, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. Read more