September 14, 2015
Statewide Challenge to Increase Seat Belt Use among Teens and Youth Kicks Off in Virginia
Allstate Foundation Awards Generous Grant for the Challenge
SALEM, VA— Fifty high and middle schools across Virginia are kicking off a statewide campaign to increase seat belt usage rates among teens and youth. (See list of schools below)
The three-week challenge, “Save Your TAIL-Gate, Buckle Up” will encourage youth and teens to develop a lifelong habit of buckling up. It is sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), the Virginia State Police (VSP), and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office. The Allstate Foundation is sponsoring the campaign through a generous grant that is funding educational materials for participating schools. The grant is also funding prizes for the high and middle schools that place in the top three for their programs to encourage seat belt use among students. Read more
September 9, 2015
Virginia’s ‘Beautiful’ New Anti-Drunk Driving Campaign Kicks Off
Effort Celebrates Beauty of Designated Drivers in a Commonwealth Where Over One-Third of All Traffic Deaths Involve Drunk Drivers
Virginia’s 2015 Checkpoint Strikeforce anti-drunk driving campaign gets under way this week with the release of television and radio commercials celebrating the beauty of designated drivers.
The commercials are part of a larger campaign to proactively communicate that nothing is more “beautiful” than a safe ride home after a night of drinking, whether it’s in a cab, public transportation, with a sober friend or through a transportation network company such as Uber or Lyft. Read more
September 1, 2015
STUDY: Police Officers Face Risk of Traffic Injuries Under Many Conditions, Including When Cars Are Stopped
This study finds that about one-quarter of all crashes and 30 percent of injury crashes studied occurred when a police officer's car was stationary.
“Police officers are at risk for getting injured in crashes under all types of driving conditions, not just when they are engaged in emergency driving,” said Tom LaTourrette, author of the study and a senior physical scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. Read more
August 14, 2015
Breath Alcohol Records Now Available on Department of Forensic Science Website
DMV Grant Helps Increase Transparency of Public Information
RICHMOND – Thanks to a grant administered by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office, the Department of Forensic Science’s (DFS) Breath Alcohol Section has placed additional breath alcohol records on the DFS website, thus making the records readily available to the general public, subjects of a breath test and attorneys. Read more
August 13, 2015
If Unthinkable Happens, Child Safety Seat Sticker Could Save a Life
Pertinent Contact, Medical Information Available for 1st Responders
RICHMOND – Imagine this scenario: there’s a serious car crash involving a family; an infant in a child safety seat has a specific medical condition and needs care, but the other people in the car are unable to communicate.
Virginia’s new Child Safety Seat Emergency Identification Sticker is a tool to aid fire, rescue and law enforcement officers in this situation so they can learn important personal and medical information about a child. Also, if the other vehicle occupants in this scenario need medical care and the infant does not, the sticker lists an emergency contact person for the child. Read more
August 9, 2015
Red-light cameras have helped cut wrecks by 83% in Richmond
Richmond’s experiment with red-light cameras has contributed to an 83 percent drop in crashes at one of the city’s worst intersections, generating $97,470 in traffic fines but no net profits to the city because of contractual costs.
Major wrecks at or near the intersection of Elkhardt and Hull Street roads plunged from 18 in 2012, the first full year before the cameras were installed, to nine in 2013 and to just three last year, police said.
“It’s no longer a constant location of accidents,” Richmond Acting Deputy Police Chief Steve Drew said last week. “I believe that camera played a helpful role in reducing those numbers. We did enforcement initiatives around our high-accident locations, but (Elkhardt and Hull streets) had the biggest drop." Read more
July 6, 2015
July 4, 2014 Traffic Fatalities Lowest in 10+ Years
Holiday Weekend Drunken Driving Arrests Increase
RICHMOND – Preliminary reports indicate the 2015 Fourth of July holiday weekend experienced the fewest fatal traffic crashes since 2002. A total of four fatal crashes have been reported for the three-day holiday weekend.
Three drivers and one passenger died in the four crashes that occurred between July 3, 2015, and July 5, 2015, in the counties of Carroll, Henrico, Pittsylvania and Washington. The Washington County fatal crash claimed the life of a 5-year-old Houston, Texas, girl. The girl was not secured in a booster seat at the time of the crash. Read more
July 1, 2015
Ashland PD Receives Free Bicycle Lights for Safety Initiative
Thanks to a gracious donation from Olde Town Bicycles in Ashland, the Ashland Police Department is providing a limited number of free bicycle lights to increase the visibility and safety of people riding bikes at night. Read more
Drive Alive Richmond Teen Driving Study
In recent years, many surveys have been conducted of teenage drivers in order to obtain a better understanding of their distracted driving behaviors and to develop strategies for addressing those behaviors. However, most surveys have been done at a national level. This survey focused on teen drivers living in a specific community – the metropolitan area of Richmond, Virginia.
In this study, we conducted an online survey in March 2015 of high school students from within the Richmond community. A total of 238 teens participated in the study. However, 15 teens were excluded from our analysis of the survey results because they reported that they had not yet started driving. Read more
June 30, 2015
New Traffic Laws Take Effect in Virginia on July 1
Law Changes Include Safety Provisions for Bicyclists, Portal Vehicles
RICHMOND – Several new traffic laws take effect July 1 in Virginia. The 2015 General Assembly amended state code to increase safety provisions for traffic management vehicles, bicyclists, postal vehicles, and refuse-collection vehicles, among other initiatives. Read more
June 29, 2015
Uber, Lyft Drivers' Vehicles Must Be Registered for TNC Use by July 1
DMV Offers Clarification of Registration for Interstate TNC Travel
RICHMOND – Drivers for Uber and Lyft, called transportation network company (TNC) partners, have until July 1 to register personal vehicles with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to continue uninterrupted operation after the state’s new TNC law takes effect.
There is no cost to register a partner vehicle. TNC partners are encouraged to check with the TNC for which they operate to determine if it initiates DMV registration on their behalf. If so, the TNC registration credentials will be mailed to the vehicle owner on file with DMV. Read more
June 16, 2015
Governor’s 2015 Transportation Safety Awards Announced
Groups and Citizens Recognized for Commitment to Saving Lives
RICHMOND – Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian J. Moran saluted the winners of the 2015 Governor’s Transportation Safety Awards during a ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 16.
“These awards recognize the hard work, cooperation, and innovation that are hallmarks of Virginia’s safety organizations, law enforcement, and individuals looking to make a difference,” Secretary Moran said. “But the real reward can be measured in lives saved. Traffic fatalities have been on the decline for years in Virginia, thanks to all of you.” Read more
June 3, 2015
Virginia's new Transportation Network Company law goes into effect on July 1
Expect to see TNC registration decals as early as June 4
RICHMOND - Virginia law, effective July 1, 2015, regulates transportation network companies, more commonly called TNCs.
These companies – Uber and Lyft – use a smart phone app to match passengers with nearby drivers through GPS technology. TNC drivers, called partners, operate their personal vehicles. Ride arrangement and payment is all done through the app. Street hails are prohibited.
Although the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles oversees TNC regulations, DMV special agents and local and state law enforcement share the duty of enforcing the new law. Read more
May 4, 2015
Click It or Ticket Campaign Focuses on Seat Belt Use
Virginians Encouraged to Buckle Up to Save Lives
RICHMOND – During this year’s national Click It or Ticket mobilization in May, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) Highway Safety Office wants motorists to ask themselves one question: Why should I always wear a seat belt? Read more
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