News and updates from Smart, Safe & Sober about upcoming mobilizations, training opportunities, law enforcement agency initiatives, and more!
SS&S Newsletter June 2013

Click It or Ticket 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 Governor's Transportation Safety Award Winners!

RICHMOND – House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe May presented awards to the winners of the 2013 Governor's Transportation Safety Awards during a ceremony at the Capitol on Thursday, June 20, 2013. The following individuals and organizations were honored for their outstanding contributions to transportation safety

  • Lifetime Safety Achievement – Steven D. Goodwin
  • General Traffic Safety – Spotsylvania Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Wheeler
  • Impaired Driving – Arlington Co. Police Dept., Arlington’s Red Top Cab & Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP)
  • Law Enforcement – VCU Police Dept.
  • Media – Joe Flanagan, WVEC TV-13
  • Motor Carrier Safety – Specialized Transportation Safety Committee, Drive Safe Hampton Roads
  • Motorcycle Safety – John Heavener
  • Occupant Protection  – 1st Sgt. Alvin Blankenship, VSP & Lt. Jeff Dube, Leesburg PD
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle – Pulaski Police Dept.
  • Public Transportation – Norfolk Checker Taxi
  • Pupil Transportation – Bedford Co. Deputy Randy Smith
  • Youth Traffic Safety – Stuarts Draft HS SADD/YOVASO Club

Read more about the winners

Virginia Highway Safety Committee Adds Two New Members

VCU Police Chief John Venuti and Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall have been appointed to the now 13-member committee.  

The Virginia Highway Safety Committee is comprised of the Superintendent of the Virginia State Police and police chiefs and sheriffs from across the Commonwealth who are leaders in traffic safety and enforcement. “Bringing Sheriff Marshall and Chief Venuti onto the committee brings an additional insight into rural law enforcement in the Hampton Roads area, as well as the perspective of a campus police chief,” said Dana Schrad, director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. “We rely on these leaders to help us identify best practices in traffic enforcement as well as address policy and program issues that arise in highway safety.”

Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall previously served as the Chief of Police for the Town of Smithfield, and is a Past President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Venuti rose through the ranks of the Richmond Police Department and has been the Virginia Commonwealth University Chief of Police since February, 2010.

The committee will be meeting soon to discuss the implementation of recent changes in Virginia’s traffic safety laws, including new laws that address distracted driving and texting.

Speakers Announced for Distracted Driving Summit Hosted by DRIVE SMART Virginia

Summit will be held in Richmond on Sept 19

Richmond, VA – The Virginia Coalition for Distraction Free Driving is pleased to announce an impressive list of nationally and internationally known experts who are scheduled to present the latest distracted driving research at the Virginia Distracted Driving Summit in Richmond, Virginia on Sept. 19. The speakers include leading researchers, business executives, law enforcement, legislators and federal government leaders.

“We’ve worked hard to attract speakers and thought leaders who are out front on the topic of distracted driving because we want to help shape the debate on traffic safety,” said Janet Brooking, Executive Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia. “We will present current research on distracted driving, innovative ways to prevent it as well as the best solutions to impact Virginia residents through legislative efforts.”

Read more about the Summit...

DMV Notice to Va. Law Enforcement About Legislative Changes to Motorcycles/Mopeds

New laws taking effect on July 1, 2013 affect Virginians who ride mopeds and motorcycles. Brochures arriving at agencies to explain new requirements.

Beginning July 1, 2013, Virginia law requires every moped driver to carry a government-issued photo ID (does not have to be a driver’s license but ideally will show name, address and date of birth) and every driver and passenger must wear a helmet while riding a moped. Drivers must also wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles unless the moped has a windshield.

Virginia law also requires mopeds operated on Virginia roadways to be titled and registered by July 1, 2014, but moped owners can jump start the process this summer. DMV will begin titling and registering mopeds on July 1, 2013. A moped title is $10. The annual registration fee is $20.25. DMV will issue one license plate to be displayed on the rear of the moped.

These requirements address the law enforcement community’s concerns that under current law, the lack of any identifying information on a moped makes them nearly impossible to recover after theft and complicates identification of the vehicle and operator in the event of a crash. While studying this issue, one of your fellow officers recounted a situation where it took a few days to identify a victim who had died in a moped crash because there was no identifying information on the victim or moped.

Over the next few weeks, special agents from DMV’s Law Enforcement Division will be visiting your locations to distribute a DMV-developed brochure detailing these new requirements for moped riders including information on the documentation needed to title and register mopeds...

Continue reading...


Heatstroke Prevention: Get Involved

Summer 2013

Campaign Materials

4th of July Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign

July 4

Campaign Materials

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over National Crackdown

Aug 16 - Sept 2

Campaign Materials

Upcoming Trainings & Campaigns

National Fourth of July Impaired Driving Enforcement Campaign
July 4

Primary Message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Secondary Message: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

VCU/TSTC Advanced Crash Investgation Training
July 15-19 • Weyers Cave
July 29 - Aug 2 • Bristol

DMV FY2013 Grant Quarterly Reports Due
July 31

Back to School Safety Month
Aug 1-31

Primary Message: Walk, Bike, and Ride to School Safely!

Pedestrian Safety Campaign Material
Bicycle Safety Campaign Materials
School Bus Safety Campaign Materials

DUID Training for Investigators and Prosecutors
Aug 13 • Roanoke
Sept 13 • Fredericksburg

National Stop on Red Week
Aug 4-10

Pedestrian/Bicycle Crash Investigation
Aug 5-9

Impaired Driving National Enforcement Crackdown
Aug 16 - Sept 2

Advanced DUI Training for Prosecutors & Law Enforcement
Aug 21-23

VACP Annual Conference
Aug 25-28

32-Hour National CPS Certification Course
Sept 9-12

Click this link to search for the course and register. Course ID is VA20130619593, or you can search for all classes in Virginia.

Distracted Driving Summit
Sept 19

2013 DMV Legislative Bulletin Now Available

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.

New Law Targets Repeat Drunk Drivers in Virginia

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.

Continue reading...

"Operation Border to Border" Yields 1,855 Summonses & Arrests on Route 15 in Six States

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.

Continue reading...

Roanoke Co. Police: Click It Or Ticket campaign working

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.

Continue reading / watch video...



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


New Motorcyclists Keep Safety In Mind From Training

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.

Continue reading / Watch video...



Speeding Still a Factor in a Third of Fatal Teen Driving Crashes

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."

Continue reading...

Fairfax Co. Safety Check Sidelines 33% of All Trucks

Sully Police District – Motor Carrier Safety officers inspected 88 trucks and placed 29 out of service at a multi-jurisdictional safety check on Thursday, May 30 at EC Lawrence Park. Additionally, officers cited 249 other violations.

Officers from Fairfax, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Loudoun, Herndon, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, and the U.S. Department of Transportation operated the comprehensive check in order to help ensure the safety of Fairfax County roadways.

In 2012, Fairfax County Motor Carrier Safety (MCS) officers inspected 285 trucks, placed 128 drivers out of service, and cited 849 violations. MCS held ten comprehensive safety checks in 2012. The MCS squad employs eight officers; four full-time and four part-time who are equipped with the technical skills, knowledge and certifications to investigate complex commercial vehicle crashes and patrol the roadways in search of safety hazards.

Tractor trailer drivers in New Kent put 'Phone Down, Just Drive'

DRIVE SMART Virginia and the New Kent County Sheriff’s Office have just completed phase two of Phone Down. Just Drive an education and enforcement project geared toward reducing the number of distracted truck and bus drivers on Interstate 64 in New Kent County, VA. Preliminary results show fewer than 5% of truck drivers are using a hand held phone while driving.

Phone Down. Just Drive was funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as part of a national pilot program that will study the effectiveness of an enforcement and education campaign targeted toward distracted driving with truck and bus drivers. A hand held cell phone ban for commercial drivers in the U.S. took effect January 3, 2012.

Continue reading...

Danville Police recognize officers, citizens and media for traffic safety enforcement and promotional efforts

On Wednesday June 19, 2013, the Danville Police Department held its Annual Traffic Safety Awards Ceremony. A total of 11 officers, 3 citizens, and 3 media outlets were recognized for their efforts in promoting traffic safety during 2012.  Additionally 1 citizen was recognized for the proper use of both seat belts and airbags during a traffic crash, the use of which most likely reduced more serious injury or even death.

Danville Police Chief Philip Broadfoot said efforts to increase traffic patrols have led to decreased car accidents and increased arrests that have helped lower the city’s violent crime rate.

"Ten years ago," Broadfoot said," officers responded to 2,271 crashes in Danville. In 2012, that number had dropped by more than half, to 1,088. That’s significant, and it comes back to the efforts of these officers.”

“It’s not all just about traffic enforcement,” Broadfoot said.

Continue reading...

Copyright © 2013 Virginia's Smart, Safe & Sober Partnership (c/o Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police), All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp