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DMV Reminds Motorcyclists to "Gear Up" for Spring-Like Weather
Motorists Urged to Be On the Lookout for Motorcycles

RICHMOND - As some spring-like weather rolls in, motorcyclists roll out to enjoy the highways and byways of the Commonwealth. To help spread a message of safety, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) launched a campaign this week urging motorcyclists to wear the proper gear when taking to the road and motorists to be on the lookout for the more vulnerable road users.

"Motorcyclists must do everything they can to protect themselves as they are sharing the road with vehicles that are many, many times the size of theirs," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "Gearing up with the right safety equipment every time is the simplest way to do that." Read more


Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Sought to Become Drug Recognition Experts (DREs)

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is recruiting officers to become Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) as part of Virginia's Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP). A DRE training program is planned for June 14-25, 2021 in Richmond, in addition to a week of certifications later in the summer.

Attached is an application for officers who may be interested in becoming a DRE. Interested officers must already be certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST). Please forward this application to top officers you believe would be excellent DREs. The deadline for the DRE training application is Monday, March 1, 2021. Along with the completed application, officers must provide:

  • two adjudicated DUI arrest reports from the past 12 months
  • a minimum of two actual DWI arrest reports for review
  • an endorsement/recommendation letter from their Chief, Sheriff or Commander
  • an endorsement/recommendation letter from their local prosecutor

Please email completed applications and attachments to Melanie.Stokes@DMV.Virginia.gov, or mail them to:

Melanie Stokes, Highway Safety
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Va. 23269


Advance Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) Training Course

Class Dates and Locations
March 1 – 2, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fairfax Police Department Operations Support Bureau
3911 Woodburn Road
Annandale Va. 22003

-or-

March 22 – 23, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chesapeake Public Safety Operations Center
2130 South Military Highway
Chesapeake, Va. 23320

Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, or ARIDE, is a 16-hour course intended to bridge the gap between the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) courses. Police officers, prosecutors and toxicologist will learn how to observe, identify, and articulate the signs of impairment related to drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. One of the more significant aspects is the review and required student demonstration of the SFST proficiency requirements. The ARIDE course also stresses the importance of securing the most appropriate biological sample to identify substances causing impairment.

Anyone who has been exposed to the coronavirus, or who is experiencing symptoms, is asked not to attend. Temperatures will be taken and symptom-related questions will be asked before entry. Face coverings over the mouth and nose must be worn at all times inside the building.

Requirements
This course is designed for those who have successfully completed a course using the 24-hour SFST curriculum approved by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Police officers must demonstrate proficiency in conducting Standardized Field Sobriety Testing to attend this course. Officers who cannot correctly demonstrate and articulate the tests will not be permitted to continue the course. This training will not qualify officers to serve as drug recognition experts (DRE).

Registration
Contact Impaired Driving Coordinator Melanie Stokes at Melanie.Stokes@DMV.Virginia.gov or 804-512-4141 to register. Registration is FREE. Attendees must register for and attend the entire two-day, 16-hour course. Course size is limited. Registration is first-come, first-served.

Additional FREE Crash Investigation Courses

Advanced Crash Investigation 
July 12, 2021 - July 23, 2021 (0800-1700, M-F)
Henrico County Police Ranco Road Training Facility
7425 Ranco Road
Henrico, VA 23228

August 23, 2021 - September 3, 2021 (0800-1700, M-F)
James City County Law Enforcement Center
4600 Opportunity Way
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Event Data Recorder Use in Traffic Crash Reconstruction – Level I
July 26 – 30, 2021 (0800-1700, M-F)
Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy
3630 Lee Hill Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Traffic Crash Reconstruction
September 13 – 24, 2021 (0800-1700, M-F)
Virginia State Police
7700 Midlothian Turnpike
North Chesterfield, VA 23235

Investigation of Motorcycle Crashes - Level 1 Course
September 20 - 24, 2021 (0800-1700, M-F)
Eanes-Pittman Public Safety Training Center
Chesterfield, VA 23832

Please feel free to contact Steve Williams if you have any questions or concerns – 540-632-3042 or Steven.Williams@dmv.virginia.gov.

Fundamentals of Crash Investigation & Reconstruction Course

Class Dates and Location
March 22 - April 2, 2021 (0800-1700, M-F) — ** CLASS IS FULL **
Hampton Police Division Training Academy
300 Butler Farm Road
Hampton, VA 23666

-or-

September 13 – 24, 2021 (0800-1700, M-F)
Roanoke County Police Department 
5925 Cove Road
Roanoke, VA 24019

The Virginia Highway Safety Office is offering a course in Fundamentals of Crash Investigation and Reconstruction. This two-week course imparts the knowledge and skills required for detailed crash investigation by combining classroom lectures with practical field exercises.

This class will be limited to 20 law enforcement personnel and COVID-19 precautionary protocols will be in place.

Topics will include:  
  • Coefficient of friction
  • Computing speeds from yaw marks and skid marks
  • Vehicle and occupant kinematics
  • Indicators of safety belt use
  • Identifying and documenting evidence
  • Traffic law
  • Measuring the scene
  • Scale diagramming
  • Time and distance

Registration
Registration for the course is FREE. Seating is limited to the first 20 Virginia Law Enforcement, Commonwealth Attorneys, or persons associated with the Virginia Multidisciplinary Crash Investigation Team.

** Please remember only the tuition for this course is free for Virginia Law Enforcement, Commonwealth Attorneys, or persons associated with the Virginia Multidisciplinary Crash Investigation Team. The travel/lodging/per diem/other expenses are covered by the student and/or their agency.**

To register, email Steve Williams at Steven.Williams@dmv.virginia.gov and provide the following information:

  • Contact information for the person attending the class (i.e., name, department, phone number, and email address)
  • Date and location of desired class

Materials Needed
Students should bring the following materials to class:

  • An electronic calculator with a square root function
  • A compass to draw circles
  • Pencils
  • Foul weather gear in case of inclement weather during field exercises
  • A 50 or 100 foot measuring tape

Please feel free to contact Steve Williams if you have any questions or concerns – 540-632-3042 or Steven.Williams@dmv.virginia.gov.


TOOLKIT: Virginia's New Hands-free Law

Virginia DMV encourages you to prevent distracted driving crashes by educating Virginians on the dangers of using a mobile phone, or engaging in any other risky behavior, while behind the wheel. In 2019, there were 120 deaths, 13,258 injuries and 34,850 crashes attributed to distracted driving.

Virginia's new hands-free law takes effect Jan. 1, 2021, and all highway safety partners are needed to help spread the word.

  • Download free educational materials about the hands-free law from DRIVE SMART Virginia's online toolkit including animated banner ads, images, and ready-made posts for social media.
  • Visit DRIVE SMART's online store to order free copies of the new hands-free brochure and poster for distribution to citizens.

As always, we appreciate your continued dedication to highway safety and saving lives.



2021 Virginia Highway Safety Summit — NOW VIRTUAL!

The ongoing pandemic has impacted many highway safety-related training events, such as the 2021 Virginia Highway Safety Summit. Therefore, in a continuous effort to provide the latest updates and training available during the path back to normalcy, the Virginia DMV is excited to announce that we will host the 2021 Highway Safety Summit virtually. The Virtual Summit will be provided through a series of webinars tentatively scheduled for the June-July, time-period. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks.  


Traffic Enforcement During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While COVID-19 cases are steadily increasing within the U.S., law enforcement agencies continue to respond to incidents and enforce traffic laws in their communities, despite the operational challenges they may face on roadways due to the pandemic. Considerations to take when making traffic stops or conducting traffic safety initiatives is available from the IACP at https://www.theiacp.org/resources/document/traffic-enforcement-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

The recommendations were created in consultation with a small sample of police agencies from around the United States.

For specific considerations related to impaired driving during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the tool, Processing DUIs during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Considerations for Law Enforcement.


New Traffic Safety Laws Social Media Messaging

Virginians need education on two new laws taking effect July 1 that draw attention to our most vulnerable road users.

Attached are seven social media posts that focus on specific safety emphasis areas and details about the new laws. These are available for posting on your agency's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you for always being there, coming through, making the grade and having our backs. We could not do this without you!


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State Safety Belt Usage Rate (2019):

85.4%

2018 Rate: 84.1%

Traffic fatalities on VA’s
highways since
Jan. 1, 2021

(as of February 14):

49
(Compared to 103 at this time last year)

 

2019 Distracted Driving Summit

 

2019 Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge Awards

 

All Traffic Safety Photos