The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is charged with regulating drivers on the state’s roads, and one arm of DMV is the Virginia Highway Safety Office. Among other things, the Highway Safety Office conducts campaigns to inform the public of important traffic safety laws.
The Highway Safety Office’s safety programs include efforts to reduce aggressive driving, improve safety for motorcyclists and bicyclists and encourage the appropriate use of child safety seats.
The safety office offers these recommendations if you encounter an aggressive driver:
- Do not allow the aggressive driver to make you upset. Do not make eye contact or yell at an angry or unsafe driver. Focus on staying in control of your own vehicle. If the aggressive driver starts to follow you, go to a police station instead of going home or to your destination.
- Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up.
- Call the police. The Virginia State Police cite aggressive drivers on Virginia interstates. Dial #77 to report aggressive and unsafe drivers.
- Do not respond to provocation from aggressive drivers. Just try to safely get away from them.
Motorcycle and Bicycle Riders
- Wear an appropriate helmet to protect yourself from traumatic brain injuries. Wear tough clothing, and do not leave skin exposed. Motorcyclists in particular need to wear the right clothes. Sturdy pants, jackets, footwear, eye protection, and a helmet are a must.
- Obey all traffic laws and use signals in traffic so other drivers know which way you are traveling.
- Watch for road hazards and large vehicles. Buses and large trucks have significant blind spots, and a bicyclist or motorcycle rider can vanish from the driver’s view entirely within the “no zones”.
- Motorcyclists are required by Virginia law to get special operator licenses.
Child Safety Seats
Children are also vulnerable in car accidents. Appropriate child safety seats are a must, and Virginians are encouraged to:
- Gather good information about the right size child seat for young passengers. From rear-facing infant seats to boosters for kids in grade school, using the right safety seat is critical to keeping kids safe.
- Never hold a child on your lap while traveling.
- Make sure that child safety seats are tightened appropriately, latched properly, and in the right part of the vehicle before getting underway.
- Never put the shoulder strap under the child’s arm or behind the child’s back.