Leaders from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Virginia State Police (VSP) came together with hundreds of traffic safety professionals last week at the DMV organized 2017 Virginia Highway Safety Summit in Richmond to help move Virginia toward a vision of zero roadway fatalities.
The two-day event focused on new developments in highway safety programs and technologies through presentations, demonstrations and exhibits. Attendees had an opportunity to discuss best practices, share and plan future strategies, and learn about measureable successes.
During this year’s Highway Safety Summit, officials signed a charter to endorse and lead the 2017-2021 Virginia Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), a statewide comprehensive, data-driven plan that identifies the state’s most challenging traffic safety issues as well as programs and activities aimed at addressing those issues.
The plan, called Arrive Alive Virginia, promotes collaboration among VDOT, DMV and VSP and other agencies including the Departments of Health and Education, Fire Programs, the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police with assistance from the Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to strategically work toward zero deaths on the roadways.
After a 28 percent decrease in fatalities in Virginia between 2007 and 2010, the number of fatalities is again on the rise.
Serious injuries have also increased over the last two years, for the first time since record-keeping began 20 years ago.
Over the next five years, participating agencies will review progress made through the SHSP and continue to offer guidance and address challenges that arise in the efforts to eliminate traffic related fatalities and reduce serious injuries on public roads.