For Immediate Release: December 4, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Transportation: Marshall M. Herman, Marshall.Herman@vdot.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Announces Executive Directive Establishing Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety

First of its kind initiative will kick off with #YourSayVA Digital Town Hall on distracted driving

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued Executive Directive Two which establishes an Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety that is charged with reducing the rising number of fatalities on Virginia’s roadways. The team is comprised of representatives from the Virginia Departments of Motor Vehicles, Transportation, Health, Education, and State Police, and is led by the Deputy Secretaries of Transportation and Public Safety and Homeland Security.

“Nearly every crash is preventable and it’s important that we focus on altering the behaviors that threaten the safety of the citizens who use our roads every day,” said Governor Northam. “The Executive Leadership Team will work proactively to drive a positive traffic safety culture in Virginia—I encourage all Virginians to get involved and offer input to help ensure we’re tackling the highway safety issues that people across the Commonwealth are most concerned about.”

As part of the Governor Executive Directive, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran are inviting Virginians to take action against distraction on Virginia roadways by participating in the #YourSayVA Digital Town Hall on highway safety. To participate, visit the Commonwealth’s new highway safety portal, TZDVA.org, and click the icon for the #YourSayVA Digital Town Hall to access the anonymous survey. Submissions will be accepted until December 31.

“Distracted driving was selected as the first topic of the Digital Town Hall because it is a fast-growing epidemic on Virginia roadways,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Last year in Virginia, 208 people were killed and more than 14,600 injured in crashes that were a direct result of distracted driving. We need everyone’s help to stop the behaviors that lead to distracted driving and hope that the input we receive through this Digital Town Hall will lead to a real change in driver behavior on Virginia’s roadways.”

“By participating in the Digital Town Hall, Virginians can share their thoughts on important highway safety issues, particularly distracted driving, directly with Virginia decision makers,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “You drive our roads every day. Tell us the unsafe driving behaviors you have witnessed and how we can encourage drivers to ditch distraction and stay focused on the road.”

The Digital Town Hall is hosted by Virginia’s new highway safety portal, TZDVA.org. Part of the Commonwealth’s efforts in the national Toward Zero Deaths highway safety movement, the website equips Virginians with the tools necessary to make lifesaving driving decisions and serves as the Commonwealth’s resource for the most comprehensive traffic safety information.

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