Efforts made to crack down on distracted drivers on U.S. 29

Vehicular crashes are up on Virginia roads this year and late last month area law enforcement agencies teamed up on to enforce speeding and distracted driving laws on U.S. 29. On July 21, Albemarle County Police, Charlottesville Police, and the University of Virginia police were out in force from the Greene County border to the Nelson County line. 

“We usually see at least 700,000 vehicles daily on that stretch of roadway,” said Albemarle Master Police Officer Kate Kane. “Consequently it adds up to a lot of crashes unfortunately.” 

During the one-day initiative on July 21, there were 197 traffic stops and 201 summons were given out. Just over half of those were for speeding. The chances of surviving are dramatically diminished the faster you go.

“Logic would tell you that when speed goes up, survivability goes down,” Kane said. “We don’t realize how fragile we are. Even with the seat belts, even with the air bags, even with the best protection technology, we cannot avoid all crashes. If you’re traveling at 75 miles an hour or higher, your body just can’t take that kind of impact.”

As of today, there have been 527 fatalities on Virginia roads in 2022 according to a dashboard on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s website.

An image of crash data in the Charlottesville area as depicted on a VDOT interactive map

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the August 2, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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