Attached is DMV's 2013 Legislative Bulletin for your review and information. Please share with others as appropriate. Included with the legislative and administrative summaries is DMV contact information in case you have any questions about a particular bill. Click here for the Bulletin.
July 1st Law Mandates One-Year Jail Sentences for Targeted Repeat DUI Offenders
Certain persons repeatedly convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Virginia – including while boating -- will be guilty of a Class 6 felony and sentenced to a mandatory one-year jail sentence and a minimum fine of $ 1,000 once the Commonwealth’s newest DUI law goes into effect on July 1, 2013.
Specifically, persons convicted of DUI in Virginia and who had a prior conviction of: a third or subsequent DUI (18.2-266); DUI maiming (18.2-51.4); involuntary manslaughter DUI (18.2-36.1); BUI (boating under the influence) maiming (18.2-51.5); or involuntary manslaughter BUI (18.2-36.2) will now be guilty of a felony subject to a “mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year and a mandatory minimum fine of $ 1,000” (18.2-270).
“As repeat drunk drivers are overrepresented in fatal crashes where alcohol was a factor and that DUI convictions are actually on the rise in Virginia, this new law is both welcomed and necessary,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, President and registered Virginia lobbyist of the nonprofit and Vienna-based Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP).
Next month’s new Virginia DUI law was borne out of 2013 Virginia General Assembly legislation sponsored by both Senator Thomas Norment (R-Williamsburg) (SB 1272) and Delegate Rick Morris (R-Carrollton) (HB 1559). Both bills were unanimously passed by Virginia Assembly members.
Six state police and highway patrol agencies spent Friday, June 7, 2013, through Sunday, June 9, 2013, enforcing Operation Border to Border along approximately 791 miles of U.S. Route 15 in an effort to prevent traffic crashes along the heavily-traveled corridor. This coordinated traffic safety enforcement initiative resulted in 1,855 total summonses and arrests among the six states. No traffic fatalities occurred during the three-day project.
State troopers from Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia worked together conducting saturation patrols, sobriety checkpoints, commercial vehicle inspections and other enforcement initiatives to reduce traffic crashes and combat criminal behavior along this non-interstate highway. The north-south East Coast corridor is popular for passenger and commercial vehicles attempting to avoid congested interstates serving all six states, especially during the summer travel season.
Along the entire multi-state stretch of Route 15, troopers stopped 684 speeders and 14 reckless drivers. A total of 28 drunk drivers were taken off the road. Troopers cited 260 seat belt violations and 11 child restraint violations. The initiative also netted 25 felony and misdemeanor arrests, to include four drug arrests. Troopers also provided assistance to 56 motorists along the route.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,300 lives could be saved each year if people had worn their seat belts. It's why law enforcement agencies across the country participate in the "Click It or Ticket" campaign -- including Roanoke County.
The agency just wrapped up its most recent enforcement period which ran from May 20 - June 2. During that two-week span, they increased patrols, ran checkpoints, and targeted specific areas with heavy traffic. They also ran a public education campaign to raise awareness about the importance of seatbelts and the dire consequences for not wearing one.
"Seatbelts are obviously the best invention ever for traffic safety as far as we are concerned," said Roanoke County Police Sgt. Tim Wyatt, who is also a member of the Blue Ridge Transportation Safety Board. "It only takes two seconds to put your seatbelt on. We know emphatically that it saves lives."
During the enforcement period, Roanoke County Police issued approximately 1,000 traffic citations. More than 180 of them -- nearly 20 percent -- were for seatbelt violations.
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PODCAST: Volunteers Help Keep Roadways Safe
Traffic responsibilities are among law enforcement’s most important and visible duties, yet officers simply cannot be on all roads at all times. In the latest edition of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Volunteers in Policing (VIPS) Podcast Series, they look at how volunteers help law enforcement officers expand their presence on the roadways and support traffic safety.
Listen now at http://www.policevolunteers.org/resources/podcasts/
One motorcycle class graduated onto the roads after a weekend of coaching in Albemarle County and after some tragic news out of Louisa. Participants of the Virginia Training Program learned the importance of riding safety.
"It's been over 20 years since I've rode a motorcycle so I decided it was time for me to do it again so I needed to get proper training so I wouldn't get hurt," said program student Ben Warner of Buckingham County.
The Virginia Rider Training Program in Charlottesville sends new licensed riders out onto the roads every week from March to November.
The program begins on Fridays in the classroom and then out on the course in front of Albemarle High School on Saturdays and Sundays.
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New Report Discusses Solutions for Both States and Parents
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Speeding is a primary culprit in a third of fatal crashes involving teen drivers, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). "Speeding-Related Fatal Crashes Among Teen Drivers and Opportunities for Reducing the Risks," authored by Dr. Susan Ferguson, states that speeding as a contributor in fatal teen driver crashes has inched up over the past decade from 30 percent in 2000 to 33 percent in 2011 while total teen fatalities have gone down dramatically during that same period. From 2000 to 2011, 19,447 fatal crashes of teen drivers were speeding-related. The report was funded through a grant from State Farm®.
Dr. Ferguson, former senior vice president of research for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, stressed, "Curbing teen speeding is vital since no other age group has a higher crash risk. Speeding is a common factor in the fatal crashes of teen male and female drivers." Dr. Ferguson continued, "Speeding is more prevalent among teen males, at night, and in the presence of other teen passengers. When three or more teen passengers are in a vehicle driven by a 16-year-old male, almost half of their fatal crashes are speeding-related."
Despite its significant role, speeding is not getting the attention it deserves and must be addressed if further progress is to be made in the area of teen driving safety. Increases in speed limits in many states coupled with a general belief that speeding is acceptable also exacerbate the problem. Dr. Ferguson notes, "Unless speeding is recognized as a dangerous behavior, much the same as drunk driving, addressing it will be difficult."