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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced a new summer travel safety campaign and survey designed to engage Virginians in efforts to reduce speed-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities on the Commonwealth’s roadways.
The “Don’t Speed Thru Summer. Make it Last.” initiative uses both online and traditional media to focus on the dangers of speed and aggressive driving. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Governor’s Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety, preliminary numbers indicate speed-related crashes have already claimed 182 lives on Virginia’s roadways and injured another 4,248 people within the first six months of 2021. Last year, 22,479 speed-related crashes on Virginia roadways resulted in 406 fatalities, the highest number in at least 10 years.
“Speed is driving up the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our roadways to record high levels,” said Governor Northam. “But these are not just statistics, these are the lives of parents, children, siblings, spouses, friends, and loved ones. As the summer continues, I urge all Virginians to make safe driving a priority as you travel throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.”
In addition, Governor Northam is inviting Virginians to participate in the #YourSayVA Digital Town Hall on speeding through Friday, August 13. 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. The data collected from the #YourSayVA Digital Town Hall will better inform state leaders of driving behaviors related to speeding.
Speeding is the latest traffic-safety priority to be addressed by the Governor and his Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety, which is composed of representatives from the Virginia Departments of Motor Vehicles, Transportation, Health, Education and State Police, and led by the Secretaries of Transportation and Public Safety and Homeland Security. The team is charged with reducing fatalities on Virginia’s roadways and driving change in the Commonwealth’s highway safety culture.
“While this may be hard to believe, driving seven miles per hour faster than the posted speed limit of 65 miles per hour saves approximately five minutes when traveling to a destination 60 miles away,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to safely maneuver around curves, adds to the time it takes to come to a complete stop, and increases the risk of crashes and injuries.”
“Every driver in Virginia plays a role in helping prevent a crash on our roadways by following the posted speed limits,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Complying with the posted speed limits not only protects your life but the lives around you.”
The Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety will be promoting the “Don’t Speed Thru Summer. Make it Last.” campaign, both as a group and as individual agencies throughout the summer season. To stay up to date, follow the hashtag #SlowDownVA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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