RICHMOND – Virginia’s Highway Safety Improvement
Program is showing life-saving results. In the last decade, crashes with fatalities have dropped by 92 percent and injury crashes by 55 percent where 113 highway safety projects have been deployed. These projects, managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), include improved traffic signals, better warning signs, rumble strips and other practical and lower cost safety improvements.
“While the total number of crashes in Virginia has remained steady at about 120,000 annually over the past eight to 10 years, the number of severe crashes has dropped significantly in that time,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “This shows the coordinated efforts by VDOT, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia State Police and local and non-profit organizations are making an impact on safety. Virginia’s ultimate goal is to reach zero deaths on the state’s roadways.”
The Virginia Strategic Highway Safety Plan addresses some of the most common types of crashes, including those related to alcohol, speeding and failure to use a seat belt. The plan sets a goal to reduce deaths and severe injuries by half by 2030.
VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick added, “VDOT continues to focus public
dollars on projects that help prevent motorists from driving off the road, as well as those that reduce intersection crashes and improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. Practical engineering solutions combined with education and enforcement save lives. Safety is also a personal responsibility, in which all of us must drive without distractions and focus on the road, particularly in construction work zones.”
Through the Six-Year Improvement Program, VDOT has funds dedicated to improve the safety of roadway curves and
install rumble strips to prevent motorists from veering off the road. Funds will also be used for flashing yellow lights, enhanced traffic signals and better signal timing to help reduce the severity of crashes at intersections as well as separating bike lanes from traffic by restriping to enhance safety for cyclists, and reduce vehicle speeds and crashes.
For more information:
- Copy of presentation on VDOT’s Highway Safety Program is athttp://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2015/july/pre/pres/CTBHwySafetyUpdate07152015.pdf.
- More information about the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program is at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsip/.
- The 2012-2016 Virginia Strategic Highway Safety Plan is at http://www.virginiadot.org/info/hwysafetyplan.asp.