Safety Improvements Needed to Benefit Virginia

According to recent data from DRIVE SMART Virginia, the entire state of Virginia saw more than 120,000 automobile crashes in 2016. From those accidents, nearly 63,000 injuries and almost 750 fatalities occurred. Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads led the state in number of crashed and number of injuries/fatalities, respectively. NOVA saw the highest number of crashes, with 28,198. Hampton Roads experienced 16,811 injuries and 145 fatalities.

Road safety improvements must be made for all drivers to decrease the number of accidents, injuries and mortalities. Increased funding for transportation will provide additional resources for safety improvements across the Commonwealth. Safety enhancements can reduce traffic congestion, which in turn can limit the number of traffic crashes, injuries and casualties. Limiting traffic congestion also helps increase safety by allowing emergency vehicles get to their destinations in a more efficient way.

New road projects bring with them the latest safety developments and standards, including guardrails, sidewalks, paved shoulders, widening of roads, newly paved roads, fixing potholes, building roundabouts and increasing visibility. For example, paved shoulders provide safety benefits for motorists and pedestrians like reducing head-on crashes and offering a stable surface off of the roadway for pedestrians to use when sidewalks cannot be provided. Other benefits include providing emergency stopping space for broken-down vehicles, increasing effective turning radii at intersections and reducing shoulder maintenance requirements.

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TOP 15 - This is a list Virginia doesn't want to be on!

Virginia’s rural roads are some of the worst in the nation and our fatality rate on these roads is alarmingly high. This information was just released as part of the TRIP report and helps to show why we must focus on funding our deteriorating rural roads. The quality of life in our smaller communities and rural areas depends on it.

Fast Fact

For the Fredericksburg region in 2016, there were nearly 7,900 automobile crashes that resulted in 73 fatalities and over 4,000 injuries. We need increased funding to provide additional resources for safety improvements to help reduce congestion. (DRIVE SMART Virginia)

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Transportation News

Hincker: Virginians should be realistic about road taxes (The Roanoke Times) Quite simply, Virginia’s interstate roads need more lanes. Our roads are death traps for one reason; our politicians are either no-tax zealots or just cowards. Travel in any of our surrounding states and you’ll see that roads are better and gasoline costs more. The equation is simple. You want better roads? Pay for them. In our own area, we routinely experience I-81 gridlock for even simple accidents.

Editorial: Let's get serious about transportation (The Free Lance-Star) When it comes to fighting traffic congestion, don’t look for elected officials in the Fredericksburg area to get serious about regional solutions. That’s the takeaway from a two-hour forum sponsored by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce last week to gauge interest in forming a transportation authority, which would have taxing power to generate money for actual improvements.

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