RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — On Friday, April 23, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared the month of April to be Highway Safety Month in the commonwealth, and he’s urging all Virginians to help prevent injuries and fatalities on the road.
One purpose of this Highway Safety Month is to emphasize the importance of wearing a seat belt, which Northam says can help in reducing the number of unrestrained crashes and saving lives.
The governor says in 2020, even with a decline in traffic volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 343 people who were not wearing seat belts were killed in crashes on Virginia roadway. This is a 13% increase compared to 2019.
“Wearing a seat belt helps prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected from a vehicle during a crash and can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45%,” Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine said in a press release from the governor’s office. “Despite the best efforts of law enforcement and highway safety advocates, it is estimated that more than 1.2 million Virginians choose not to buckle up.”
To read the full press release from the governor’s office about Highway Safety Month, click here.