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DMV Requests EVERY Virginia LE Agency Conduct a Seat Belt Survey

The Department of Motor Vehicles – Highway Safety Office needs your assistance.

There are more cases of unrestrained travelers on the road now than in the past.  From January 1, 2020 to September 10, 2020, data showed a 28% increase (190 to 244) in unrestrained fatalities compared to the same time in 2019.

Data from September 2020 through December 2020 show the Commonwealth experienced an 11% decrease in unrestrained fatalities compared to the same time in 2019.However, data for calendar year 2020, showed that we were still up 13% in unrestrained fatalities in comparison to the 2019 calendar year.

With the implementation of the November Click it or Ticket (CIOT) message and shared educational resources, we were able to successfully "slow the tide" of the problem of non-seat belt use and preventing unrestrained fatalities.

In order to continue these efforts, the Highway Safety Office is asking that EVERY law enforcement agency help us by conducting a seat belt survey in their jurisdiction.

DOWNLOAD SURVEY FORM (Word doc)

The official state seat belt survey is conducted every year after the CIOT campaign.  The survey includes a combination of 15 counties and aggregates.  It is representative of low, medium and high vehicle miles travelled (VMT).  This relates to rural (low) and urban (high) areas.  However, not all counties are officially surveyed.

The self-reported seat belt survey will assist to positively impact low use rate areas as well as identify areas where we can provide additional educational resources.   If you have been a recipient of a highway safety grant, this is the same survey conducted pre- and post-CIOT.  Also when conducting the surveys, it would be very helpful to conduct surveys in multiple locations and average the results before reporting

SURVEY DATES: Surveys should be conducted between Monday, April 12th and Friday, April 30th. Surveys are due by Friday, April 30th.

Once completed, please forward your survey results to the Statewide Occupant Protection Coordinator, John Messina at john.messina@dmv.virginia.gov by Friday, April 30th.

If you have any questions, please contact John Messina at john.messina@dmv.virginia.gov

Your leadership has proven to save lives across the Commonwealth.


Virginia Among 15 East Coast States Participating in Annual "I-95 Drive to Save Lives"

RICHMOND – Virginia will be among 15 states, from Maine to Florida, participating in a two-day "Drive to Save Lives" traffic safety initiative along Interstate 95. On Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, 2021, Virginia State Police will be dedicating additional patrol resources to Interstate 95 traffic safety enforcement. Motorists can expect to see an increased presence of troopers along Virginia's entire 178 miles of I-95, from the border of North Carolina to Maryland. This year the initiative coincides with Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Read more


April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on the roads today. Distracted drivers aren't just a threat to themselves: they're a danger to everyone else on the road. The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness, and education.

  • National U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Enforcement Campaign:
  • National One Text or Call Could Wreck It All Social Norming Campaign:

420 Impaired Driving Prevention — April 20, 2021
Although its origins are uncertain, April 20th (more commonly known as 420) has become synonymous with marijuana use and, in some circles, the date is a marijuana "holiday." On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, there will likely be an increase in marijuana use. To help keep drug-impaired drivers off the roads, NHTSA is teaming up with State and local traffic safety advocates to spread the message that drug-impaired driving of any kind is dangerous and illegal.


National Work Zone Awareness Week — April 26-30, 2021

The 2021 National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) will be held April 26-30, and the theme is "Drive Save. Work Safe. Save Lives".  This year, the Michigan Department of Transportation will be hosting the NWZAW kick-off press event on Tuesday, April 27th.

Please see the 2021 NWZAW Factsheet

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT NWZAW ACTIVITIES


Click It or Ticket National Mobilization

The DMV – Highway Safety Office reminds you that the 2021 May Click It or Ticket Campaign is approaching quickly.  We are seeking support from all of our partners and law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth to educate our communities of the importance of buckling up, day and night, on Virginia roadways.

When:

  • Earned Media:  May 10 - June 6, 2021
  • Paid Media:  May 17 - June 6, 2021
  • Enforcement:  May 24 - June 6, 2021

Additional information will follow.


Registration Open for DUID for Virginia Prosecutors & Law Enforcement (Virtual Training)

Registration is now open for the first two (2) of six (6) DUID for Virginia Prosecutors and Law Enforcement programs. The first training will be held on May 19, 2021 and the second will be held June 7, 2021. Both will be presented via Zoom. This program includes everything you need to know about investigating and prosecuting a DUID case - and specifically includes information about cannabis impaired driving - which is becoming increasingly important. This training is open to Virginia prosecutors and law enforcement. The training will run from 8:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.on both dates. MCLE and PIC-3 credits will be applied for.

Dates and locations for the remaining four (4) DUID programs will be announced soon. Please contact Jake Lambert with any questions at jrlambert@wm.edu or 757-598-3373.

To register for the May 19, 2021 program please click below:

https://www.ciclt.net/sn/events/e_signup.aspx?ClientCode=casc&E_ID=500431&RegType=ATT

To register for the June 7, 2021 program please click below:

https://www.ciclt.net/sn/events/e_signup.aspx?ClientCode=casc&E_ID=500433&RegType=ATT


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

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
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.


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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 April 11):

158
(Compared to 209 at this time last year)

 

2019 Distracted Driving Summit

 

2019 Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge Awards

 

All Traffic Safety Photos