from John Messina, Virginia DMV, Occupant Protection Coordinator | Highway Safety Office
Hello highway safety partners,
During these unprecedented times, it may seem that there are more cases of high rates of speed and unrestrained travelers on the road now than in the past, the observation is correct. From January 1, 2020 to September 10, 2020, data shows a 20% increase (226 to 272) in speed-related fatalities and a 22% increase (190 to 232) in unrestrained fatalities compared to the same time in 2019.
Speeding endangers everyone on the road, excessive speeding is occurring in every community. Excessive speed injures or kills pedestrians, bicyclists, operators of motor vehicles, as well as passengers in motor vehicles. In 2019, speed related crashes killed 349 people on Virginia roadways and there were 274 unrestrained fatalities. Of course, the best way to protect yourself and others in your vehicle during a crash is wearing your seat belt.
However, it will take all of us together, government entities, law enforcement entities, faith-based groups, civic groups, educational groups as well as each individual member of our respective communities to slow the tide of the problem with excessive speed and non-seat belt use. Speed limit and seat belt laws are put in place to protect all road users within our, community.
To help prevent speed and seat belt related fatalities, to ensure that motorists are obeying the speed limit and are buckling up, the VA Highway Safety Office (VA HSO) and Drive Safe Hampton Roads is asking partners and citizens to continue your efforts and help educate your local communities about the consequences of not obeying speed limits and not wearing a seat belt. In addition, there is a quick reference tool to list the partners’ information that can be used to educate our communities as well. (Click Here for Quick Reference Tools) This messaging may seem small but just one more
message may be the message to save a life.
Thanks for your continued support of working Towards Zero on Virginia roadways.