Paula K. Jones 434-856-8176


May 19, 2016

Graduation Events Continue to Take Place Across Area
Motorists urged to stay alert and use caution

LYNCHBURG – Students across the Lynchburg District of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are graduating from area colleges, trades schools and high schools and, in a final act of support, they need your help to ensure that graduation is a happy and safe event. 

Thousands of students, their family members and others will travel our local roads to and from graduations. Some of those traveling may be unfamiliar with local roadways; some may be fairly new drivers and some may be simply distracted during this momentous day. 

Between January 1 and May 5, 2016, there have been 20 fatal crashes, involving 22 fatalities. The majority of those fatal crashes occurred on two-lane roadways, during dry weather conditions and involved unrestrained drivers/passengers and speeding. A significant percentage (65%) of these crashes involved roadway departures. A roadway departure crash is defined as a non-intersection crash in which the vehicle crosses an edgeline or centerline or otherwise leaves the roadway. In addition, 13 percent of the drivers involved were under the age of 21, while 25 percent were between the ages of 21 and 30. 

To keep them and yourself safe:

  • Take the time to find out when and where graduation events in your area will be held, and plan your travel to avoid heavily-congested areas around schools and other graduation venues,
  • Use your seatbelt. Proper use of seat belts saves lives and it is the law.
  • Follow the advice of the Virginia State Police – “Stop the Texts-Stop the Wrecks.” Don’t text and drive. Texting while driving greatly increases the probability of being in an accident and, again, it is the law.

Graduation means a new and promising start for many.  Join VDOT and other emergency services agencies in helping these students stay on the road to the future.  Drive safely. 

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: May 19, 2016