September 1, 2017
With Traffic Deaths Spiking in Virginia, State Police Urging All Virginians to #Drive2SaveLives This Labor Day Weekend
RICHMOND – In the past seven days, 15 people have died in traffic crashes on Virginia highways across the Commonwealth. That alarming death toll includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and a 9-year-old bicyclist. Tragically, this year is proving to be a deadly one for Virginia’s highways. As of Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, there have been 529 reported traffic deaths in Virginia, compared to 477 this same date last year.
“The fact that we have lost 50 more lives in traffic crashes this year than in 2016 should be of major concern for all Virginians, especially as we head into the heavily-traveled Labor Day weekend,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “State police will have all available troopers out on patrol for the extended holiday weekend, but we need every driver and passenger committed to also doing their part to make their travels as safe as possible.” Read more
August 31, 2017
Commonwealth Launches 16th-Annual Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign
With Drunk Drivers Involved In One-Third of Labor Day Traffic Deaths, Virginia Governor and Officials Gear-up for Holiday Travel Safety
With a third of all U.S. traffic deaths over the Labor Day holiday period involving drunk drivers and Virginia averaging a double-digit number of traffic fatalities during the summer-ending holiday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe today joined other state officials in outlining plans to ensure safety on the Commonwealth’s roadways this weekend through the year’s end.
At a Checkpoint Strikeforce news conference held this afternoon in Richmond, McAuliffe and Virginia State Police officials announced markedly stepped-up law enforcement throughout Virginia to counter Labor Day’s historically deadly toll including the participation of nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies along with State Police area offices deploying literally hundreds of anti-drunk driving efforts under the banner of the 16th-annual traffic safety campaign. Read more
July 5, 2017
Traffic Deaths Increase Over 2017 Fourth of July Weekend
Four killed were not wearing seat belts
RICHMOND – Fatal crash numbers rose during this year’s Fourth of July weekend, and nearly half of the motorists killed in those crashes were not wearing a seat belt. During the four-day statistical counting period, preliminary numbers report a total of nine drivers and passengers died in as many traffic crashes statewide this past holiday weekend. Last year, traffic crashes claimed a total of eight lives on Virginia highways. Read more
June 29, 2017
Drive on: New Virginia law changes punishment for marijuana possession
On Saturday, several new laws will go into effect in Virginia. One will help more people keep their driver’s license after being charged with marijuana possession. It will allow a judge to opt for additional community service instead of automatically suspending someone’s driver’s license for six months. HB 2051 / SB 1091 impacts adults who were not operating a vehicle at the time of the offense. Read more
New ABC laws go into effect in Virginia on July 1
RICHMOND, Va. – Hundreds of new laws were passed by the 2017 Session Virginia General Assembly that are likely to affect the daily lives of many Virginia citizens. Among the many new laws are several that affect Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations. Soon you’ll be able to buy wine and beer at one of Virginia’s many historic cinema’s, or purchase 151-proof alcohol like Everclear from an ABC store.
These new laws go into effect on Saturday, July 1. Here’s a selection of some of the new ABC laws that stand out: Read more
June 28, 2017
Motorists Urged to Drive 2 Save Lives This July 4 Holiday
2017 Summer Travel Season Off to a Deadly Start on Virginia Highways
RICHMOND – With a “record-breaking” number of travelers forecasted for the 2017 Independence Day weekend and the recent rash of fatal crashes in Virginia since the official start of summer, the Virginia State Police is urging all motorists to put traffic safety at the top of their list of holiday priorities. This past weekend, 15 people were killed in traffic crashes across the Commonwealth. Those who lost their lives in traffic crashes June 23-25, 2017, included drivers, passengers, motorcyclists and pedestrians ranging from 4 months to 74 years of age.
To ensure the Fourth of July holiday is as safe as possible, Virginia State Police will increase patrols during the long holiday weekend. Beginning Saturday, July 1, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2017 July Fourth statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017, and continues through midnight Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Read more
June 15, 2017
Governors 2017 Transportation Safety Awards Announced
Groups and Citizens Recognized for Commitment to Saving Lives
RICHMOND – Virginia’s top transportation safety advocates were honored today during a ceremony at Virginia’s State Capitol. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran and DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb presented the 2017 Governor’s Transportation Safety Awards.
The following individuals and organizations were honored for outstanding contributions to transportation safety... Read more
Virginia Granted Extension to Continue Work Toward REAL ID Compliance Licenses and ID Cards Remain Valid for Federal Facility Access, Military Bases
RICHMOND – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Virginia’s request for additional time to continue work toward REAL ID compliance. As such, Virginians may continue to use their state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards to access secure federal facilities and military bases and to board domestic flights.
Virginia will become fully REAL ID compliant by October 2018 and will begin offering REAL ID approved driver’s licenses and ID cards at that time. These credentials will be optional for Virginians to obtain. Beginning in October 2020, Americans will need to use a federally approved credential – such as the REAL ID credential Virginia is developing – in order to board domestic flights in the United States. Read more
June 13, 2017
DMV Commends 21 Cities & Counties with No Crash Deaths in 2016
Crashes killed 761 people across the Commonwealth last year
RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office commends 21 Virginia localities that reported zero traffic fatalities in 2016. Those jurisdictions are... Read more
May 31, 2017
Traffic Deaths Decrease Slightly Over 2017 Memorial Day Weekend
4 of 7 killed in crashes were motorcyclists
RICHMOND – The 2017 Memorial Day holiday weekend proved safer for those traveling the highways of Virginia in comparison to the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. During the four-day statistical counting period, preliminary numbers report a total of seven drivers and passengers died in six traffic crashes statewide this past holiday weekend. During the same time period in 2016, traffic crashes claimed a total of eight lives on Virginia highways.
The six fatal traffic crashes occurred in the cities of Christiansburg and Norfolk and the counties of Augusta, Bedford, Carroll and Rockingham. Sunday’s fatal crash in Rockingham County claimed the lives of two drivers involved in a head-on collision, both of whom were not wearing seat belts. Read more
May 23, 2017
Virginia State Police Reminds Motorists to Slow Down or Move Over This Memorial Day Weekend
RICHMOND – Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and the Virginia State Police is taking this opportunity to remind motorists to do what’s right when they see lights – #MoveOver.
The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. Read more
January 5, 2017
Winter Weather Driving Alert: Drive to Save Lives
RICHMOND, Va. – Depending on where you live in Virginia, over the next two days you may only see snow flurries or be counting the inches of snow as it accumulates. Regardless, the Virginia State Police are reminding all Virginians of the need to drive to the conditions. Read more
December 27, 2016
Ten Killed in Four Days Over Holiday Weekend in Virginia
RICHMOND – The Christmas holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one on Virginia’s highways. During the four-day statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, through midnight Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, preliminary reports indicate 10 people died in traffic crashes across the Commonwealth.
The 10 fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Buchanan, Culpeper, Fauquier, Louisa, Prince William and Wise; and the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. Three of the deceased were pedestrians (Louisa County, Prince William County and the city of Suffolk). The fatal crash in the city of Chesapeake was a hit-and-run that is still under investigation by the Virginia State Police. Four of the drivers and passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. Read more
November 28, 2016
Traffic Deaths Decline Over Thanksgiving Weekend
Virginians Still Encouraged to Drive to Save Lives During Winter Holiday Season
RICHMOND – Fortunately, a forecasted record volume of traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend did not yield an increase in traffic deaths across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Preliminary reports indicate a total of seven people were killed in seven traffic crashes statewide, compared to nine deaths during the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday and eight in 2014. Read more
November 18, 2016
Motorists Asked to Help Save Lives on Virginia's Highways Over 2016 Thanksgiving Weekend
RICHMOND – With the most heavily-traveled holiday just days away, the Virginia State Police are strongly encouraging motorists to make safe driving a priority during the Thanksgiving weekend. Since Saturday (Nov. 12), traffic crashes in Virginia have claimed the lives of 13 drivers and passengers, and three pedestrians. From Jan. 1, 2016, to Nov. 17, 2016, preliminary reports indicate traffic crashes statewide have resulted in 629 deaths; compared to 661 deaths during the same timeframe in 2015. Read more
September 19, 2016
Statewide Challenge to Increase Seat Belt Use Among Teens and Youth Kicks Off in Virginia
More than 70 high and middle schools across the state participating
SALEM, VA— More than seventy 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 four-week challenge, “Save Your Tailgate, Buckle Up” will encourage youth and teens to develop a lifelong buckle up habit by reminding them that seat belts are critical safety equipment for every driver and passenger. Using the slogan, “Seat Belts Are Your Safety Equipment,” the campaign emphasizes that seat belts are critical safety equipment in a vehicle and are designed to protect and save lives. Just as football players always wear a helmet, drivers and passengers should always buckle up for safety is a central message of the campaign. Read more
September 6, 2016
Labor Day weekend fatalities down, Virginia State Police say
Though a national safety group warned that Labor Day weekend could be the deadliest in eight years on U.S. highways, Virginia’s number of traffic deaths over the four-day period that started Friday and ended Monday were down by more than half compared to 2015, the state police said.
There were seven reported traffic deaths statewide, compared with 16 in 2015, according to preliminary data. Two motorcyclists died in Chesterfield and Henry counties, a pedestrian was killed in Norfolk and four fatal crashes happened in Brunswick, King George, Montgomery and Nottoway counties. Two fatalities involved people who did not use seat belts, the state police said. All of those killed were males between the ages of 17 and 79. Read more
September 1, 2016
Drive Sober and Save Lives This Labor Day Weekend
Motorists Reminded to Heed Potential for Heavy Rains Related to Hurricane Hermine
RICHMOND – Summer is winding down, which mean thousands of motorists will be heading out on highways across the Commonwealth this Labor Day weekend. Travelers can expect to see more stationary and roving patrols by Virginia State Police troopers as part of the Department’s participation in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) program. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program means troopers will increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the Commonwealth beginning Friday morning, Sep. 2, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through midnight Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Read more
August 30, 2016
2016 Virginia Buzzkill Campaign Against Underage Drinking to Launch Sept. 2 at NSU
Norfolk State University Police will host the launch of the 2016 Virginia Buzzkill campaign, a joint law enforcement agency awareness initiative of the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (VACLEA) to deter underage drinking, and educate everyone about the consequences of providing alcohol to underage individuals.
Norfolk State University Police, along with law enforcement personnel from Christopher Newport University, Hampton University and Tidewater Community College will hold a 10 a.m. press conference on Sept. 2 at the NSU Student Center. The event will occur in advance of the college football and tailgating seasons at many higher education institutions in the Tidewater area. Read more...
August 15, 2016
County roads deadly for those not using seat belts
More people were killed on county roads last year in crashes where drivers and passengers were not using seat belts than in crashes involving alcohol. And so far this year, the numbers are getting worse.
There were 65 crashes in Augusta County in 2015 involving unrestrained drivers or passengers. In those crashes 61 people were injured and 7 people were killed. Sixty five crashes, sixty-eight injuries or deaths. Read more...
July 6, 2016
Eight Lives Lost to Traffic Crashes Over 2016 Independence Day Weekend in Virginia
RICHMOND – Five drivers, a motorcyclist, a teenage passenger and a pedestrian died in seven traffic crashes across Virginia over the Fourth of July weekend, according to preliminary reports. The 2016 July Fourth statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m., Friday, July 1, 2016, and concluded midnight Monday, July 4, 2016. The fatal crashes occurred in the cities of Chesapeake and Roanoke, and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Lunenburg and Sussex. The double fatality occurred in the City of Chesapeake. Read more...
Motor vehicle crash deaths in the US are still too high
About 90 people die each day in the US from crashes— resulting in the highest death rate among comparison countries
Reducing motor vehicle crash deaths was one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century for the US. However, more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured each year from motor vehicle crashes. In 2013, the US crash death rate was more than twice the average of other high-income countries. In the US, front seat belt use was lower than in most other comparison countries. One in 3 crash deaths in the US involved drunk driving, and almost 1 in 3 involved speeding. Lower death rates in other high-income countries and a high percentage of risk factors in the US suggest that we can make more progress in reducing crash deaths. Read more...
June 30, 2016
Celebrate Independence Day, But Celebrate Responsibly
Virginia State Police Increase Patrols and Continue Drive to Save Lives Campaign
RICHMOND – To ensure the Fourth of July holiday is as safe as possible, Virginia State Police will increase patrols during the long holiday weekend. Beginning July 1, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2016 July Fourth statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m., Friday, July 1, 2016, and continues through midnight Monday, July 4, 2016. Read more...
June 29, 2016
DMV Offices Closed Saturday and Monday for Fourth of July
Buckle Up and Drive Sober This Holiday and Every Day
RICHMOND – All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers (CSCs) will be closed on Saturday, July 2 and Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. DMV will re-open for service Tuesday, July 5.
During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, law enforcement officers will be out in full force, cracking down on drivers who are not obeying the law. DMV’s Virginia Highway Safety Office reminds Virginians to designate a sober driver before the Fourth of July celebrations begin. Read more
June 28, 2016
Governors 2016 Transportation Safety Awards Announced
Groups and Citizens Recognized for Commitment to Saving Lives
RICHMOND - Virginia's top transportation safety advocates were honored today during a ceremony at Virginia's Executive Mansion. Governor Terry McAuliffe and DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb presented the 2016 Governor's Transportation Safety Awards
The following individuals and organizations were honored for outstanding contributions to transportation safety... Read more
RELATED: Former New Kent sheriff recognized with lifetime achievement award
June 3, 2016
Public Service Announcement (PSA) Released on the Silver Screen to Spread the Word About Virginia's "Move Over" Law
June is "Move Over Awareness Month" in Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. – What do summer movie blockbusters and Metro-Richmond emergency responders have in common? Beginning June 3, 2016, through the end of the month, they will be sharing the same silver screen in theatres across the region to help increase awareness of Virginia’s “Move Over” law. The kickoff coincides with Governor McAuliffe’s 2014 designation of June as Virginia’s “Move Over Awareness Month.”
The 30-second special public service announcement (PSA) features members of Hanover County Fire and EMS, Henrico County Police, New Kent County Sheriff’s Office, New Kent County Fire and EMS, VDOT, Virginia State Police and AAA Mid-Atlantic reminding motorists to comply with the state’s Move Over law. The PSA is running in the pre-show before each feature presentation during the entire month of June in theaters in Richmond. Read more
May 31, 2016
Traffic Deaths Down Over 2016 Memorial Day Weekend In Virginia
8 Traffic Deaths in 2016, Compared to 14 Over 2015 Holiday Weekend
RICHMOND – The 2016 Memorial Day holiday weekend proved safer for those traveling the highways of Virginia in comparison to the 2015 Memorial Day weekend. During the four-day statistical counting period, preliminary numbers report a total of eight drivers and passengers died in seven traffic crashes statewide this past holiday weekend. During the same time period in 2015, traffic crashes claimed a total of 14 lives on Virginia highways. Read more
April 12, 2016
UNITED FRONT: How five Richmond-area agencies coordinated to address underage drinking
Five law enforcement agencies in Virginia’s capital launched a public awareness campaign in fall 2015 to communicate the physical, professional and legal effects of underage drinking to college students.
Marketed as “RVA Buzzkill” in Richmond, Va., campaign materials and messages were adapted with permission from the Ohio Drug Free Action Alliance.
RVA Buzzkill united police departments at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Union University, the University of Richmond and Reynolds Community College. The Richmond Police Department also participated in the campaign. Read more
March 14, 2016
DMV Urges Virginians to Plan Ahead This St. Patrick's Day
Select a Sober Driver Before Drinking
RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) urges drivers to drink responsibly and plan ahead this St. Patrick’s Day.
There were 17 alcohol-related crashes on March 17-18, 2015, exactly half the amount from 2014. DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, is hopeful this year’s numbers will be even lower. Read more
February 12, 2016
Transportation Safety Awards Recognize Crash Reduction Efforts
Applications Due March 16, 2016
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 2016 Virginia Governor's Transportation Safety Awards. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office is accepting nominations through March 16, 2016 for 13 different transportation safety categories. Read more
January 20, 2016
With Forecasted Storms, Virginia State Police Urge Motorists to 'Drive to Save Lives'
RICHMOND – As the first of two forecasted snowstorms makes its way across the Commonwealth Wednesday, Virginians are encouraged to plan ahead, be prepared and avoid unnecessary travel. Virginia State Police will have all available troopers and supervisors working in advance of and the duration of the storms as they make their way across and into the Commonwealth. To prevent unnecessary traffic crashes and delays from occurring on Virginia’s highways during the storms, state police advises residents to postpone travel plans and avoid driving, when possible. Read more
December 28, 2015
Five Killed in Holiday Traffic Crashes Across Virginia
East Coast I-95 "Drive to Save Lives" initiative Remains Ongoing Through New Year's
RICHMOND, Va. – Five fatal crashes over the Christmas holiday weekend resulted in the deaths of one pedestrian, one moped operator and three drivers on Virginia’s highways. The deaths occurred in Bedford and Surry counties, and the cities of Hampton, Newport News and Richmond. Alcohol was a factor in at least two of the five fatal crashes. As of Dec. 28, 2015, preliminary reports indicate 732 individuals have died in traffic crashes statewide; compared to 694 same date in 2014. Read more
DMV Schedules Transportation Safety Grant Workshops
Applicants Must Attend One Session to Apply for Grant
RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office (VAHSO) has scheduled regional workshops to assist nonprofits, state agencies and law enforcement agencies with the 2017 transportation safety grant application submission process.
Beginning February 1, 2016, VAHSO will accept 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 29, 2016. Read more
December 24, 2015
Virginia State Police Partner with East Coast States in the National Drive to Save Lives Campaign
Troopers Aim to Reduce Traffic Fatalities on the I-95 Corridor
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia State Police is partnering with the state police, highway patrols and local law enforcement of every state along the East Coast containing a portion of Interstate 95 in an effort to keep one of the nation’s major interstate corridors safe and fatality-free. This Drive to Save Lives traffic-safety operation begins Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, and concludes New Year’s Eve. Read more
December 17, 2015
U.S. DOT reminds Americans to 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' this holiday season
Unveils new ad to run in theaters nationwide just before 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced its nationwide campaign to get drunk drivers off the road this holiday season and unveiled a new Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over ad to run in movie theaters immediately before the hotly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens nationwide this weekend.
“We hope the millions of Americans who will be on the road over the holidays will make the safe choice not to drink and drive,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Across the country, local law enforcement officers will be on the roads, protecting all of us from the risk of drunk driving.” Read more
Be a Lifesaver and Give the Gift of a Designated Driver
5,085 Reasons Why Not to Drive Drunk or Buzzed This Holiday Season
RICHMOND – Be a designated, sober driver this holiday season and be part of the Drive to Save Lives campaign. During the final two weeks of 2015, Virginia State Police is joining law enforcement across the country in traffic safety initiatives to deter and stop impaired driving. The weekend before Christmas beginning Friday, Dec. 18, and continuing through Monday, Dec. 21, is designated as the 2015 National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend by Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). As part of this safety campaign and to maximize enforcement efforts, Virginia State Police and local law enforcement will focus patrols during time periods when alcohol consumption and holiday parties are most prevalent. Read more
December 16, 2015
DMV Reminds Virginians to "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over"
DMV Offices to Close for Christmas and New Year's Holidays
DMV urges Virginians to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” this holiday season – and every day. Law enforcement officers across the country – and Virginia – will be out in full force now through the New Year’s weekend actively searching for drunk drivers as part of the semi-annual crackdown on impaired driving. Read more
December 8, 2015
Colonel Flaherty Kicks Off 'Steer Safely Into the New Year!'
"Drive Responsibly Campaign for Teens" at Cosby High School in Chesterfield County
CHESTERFIELD CO., Va. — Colonel W. Steven Flaherty joined students at Cosby High School in Chesterfield County Tuesday morning to officially kick off a statewide campaign to encourage teens to “Steer into the New Year” by celebrating responsibly, driving safely, and buckling up throughout the holiday season. In an effort to challenge all students statewide to arrive safely back at school after the holidays, Colonel Flaherty along with the Cosby High Youth of Virginia Speak Out (YOVASO) Chapter were the first to sign the “Steer into the New Year, Drive Responsibly” pledge banner.
The Holiday Safe Driving Campaign, “Steer into the New Year,” is designed to help teenagers make it safely to 2016 by driving responsibly, buckling up, avoiding alcohol and drug use, and limiting distractions. It is sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out (YOVASO), the Virginia State Police, and the DMV, Virginia’s Highway Safety Office. Read more
December 4, 2015
'Move Over' Law Public Service Announcement Debuts on the Silver Screen
RICHMOND, Va. – With several highly-anticipated films debuting at the cinema this holiday season, Metro-Richmond moviegoers will have the opportunity to also preview an important public safety message concerning Virginia’s “Move Over” law. For the first time ever, 81 local screens will be running a special public service announcement (PSA) featuring members of Hanover County Fire and EMS, Henrico County Police, New Kent County Sheriff’s Office, New Kent County Fire and EMS, VDOT, Virginia State Police and AAA Mid-Atlantic. The 30-second PSA reminds all motorists to comply with the state Move Over law and will run in the pre-show before each feature presentation. Funding is provided through a grant administered by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Read more
December 3, 2015
Shaquille O'Neal Joins Responsibility.org and GHSA to Unveil Law Enforcement Training Initiative
Funding announced for states to train officers to detect drug-impaired drivers
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Shaquille O'Neal today joined the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) to unveil GHSA's new law enforcement initiative to provide states funding to significantly increase the number of officers trained to detect drug-impaired drivers. The event was held at Rayburn House Office Building and was attended by members of Congress and Congressional staff. Read more
November 29, 2015
Six Motorists Die in Thanksgiving Weekend Traffic Crashes
145 DUI Arrests and 11,000+ Speeders Cited on Virginia Highways
RICHMOND – Six individuals lost their lives in traffic crashes on Virginia’s highways over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to preliminary reports. In 2014, a total of eight people were killed in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. During the 2015 holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 25) and ended at midnight Sunday (Nov. 29), the fatal crashes occurred in Craig, King George and Loudoun counties, and in the cities of Hampton, Newport News and Norfolk. Read more
November 27, 2015
Play Bad? Lose a Game. Drive Bad? Lose a Life.
Have a Game Plan to 'Drive to Save Lives' Game Day Weekend
RICHMOND – Whether you root for the Hokies or the Hoos, or have your own favorite college football team to cheer on during this Saturday’s major matchups, nothing rivals the importance of all fans driving to save lives over the Thanksgiving weekend. In fact, Head Virginia Tech Football Coach Frank Beamer and Head University of Virginia Football Coach Mike London this summer put their rivalries aside in order to team up with the Virginia State Police for a traffic safety public service announcement (PSA): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KrQUzAYYFY. | Read more
November 19, 2015
Seat Belts Save Lives: State, Local Police Participate in Annual "Click It or Ticket" Enforcement Mobilization
RICHMOND – No one would willingly ride a rollercoaster without a safety belt or harness. Yet, only 77 percent of Virginians last year found it necessary to ride in a car, SUV and pickup truck buckled up. The odds of being injured on a rollercoaster are one in 24 million and the chance of being killed is one in 750 million.* No one died on a rollercoaster in Virginia in 2014 or 2015. But, in the first 10 months of this year, 254 adults, teens, and children who were not wearing seat belts have died in traffic crashes.** Another 3,174 persons have been injured in traffic crashes after failing to buckle up. Read more
November 2, 2015
Most Deer-Related Crashes in Virginia Occur in November
Motorists Reminded to Use Caution, Stay Alert
RICHMOND – November is the most dangerous month for deer-related crashes in Virginia and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and AAA Mid-Atlantic urge motorists to buckle up, slow down and be observant.
Last year, 1,279 Virginia crashes involving a deer – about one quarter of the deer-related crashes reported for the entire year – occurred during the month of November, according to DMV statistics. One person was killed and another 103 people were injured. Read more
October 19, 2015
New Report Calls for Expanding Teen Safe Driving Efforts
As traffic deaths rise, enlisting support of adults beyond parents is critical
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Despite progress in recent decades, motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death of teens in the U.S. In 2013, nearly 4,000 drivers 15 to 20 years old were involved in fatal crashes(1). And a strong economy means more disposable income that puts more teens at risk on the road - often in older cars without the latest safety features. Preliminary 2015 data(2) suggest that overall traffic fatalities are on the rise. Read more
Virginia State Police & YOVASO Remind Drivers It's National School Bus Safety Week & National Teen Driver Safety Week
RICHMOND, Va. – This week the Virginia State Police and Youth of Virginia Speak Out (YOVASO) are reminding all Virginians of the necessity of keeping our young drivers and passengers safe on the highways of the Commonwealth. Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, signals the start of two very important traffic safety weeks aimed at protecting teen drivers and those students who ride school buses. Read more
October 9, 2015
Virginia State Police Team Up with UVA &VT to Get Virginians to 'Drive to Save Lives'
RICHMOND – With traffic deaths on Virginia highways on the increase for the first time in two years, the Virginia State Police is hoping a new collaborative campaign with two of the Commonwealth’s flagship universities will help bring much needed attention to the necessity for all Virginians to make traffic safety a priority. Today the state police, University of Virginia (UVA) and Virginia Tech (VT) are launching a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring football coaches Mike London and Frank Beamer, respectively, with a critical message – Drive To Save Lives. Read more
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