It hasn’t made many headlines, but this is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month—and Virginia has announced that more than 24,000 crashes statewide last year were attributed to distracted drivers.
Those distractions caused both fatalities and thousands of injuries. State officials stress that such accidents can be prevented.
The first thing state Highway Safety Office Director John Saunders does at work each day is read the traffic fatality report from the previous day. Saunders warns that behind the numbers are real people with families.
With gasoline prices well below three dollars a gallon, large, gas-guzzling vehicles are again selling well. Last year’s top three were full-sized pick-up trucks that get less than 20 miles to the gallon in city driving. Jim Phelan doesn’t care.
The Charlottesville man has fallen in love with something that gets 55 miles to the gallon, and he hopes to sell others on a car most people have never heard of.
The quest to transition to a hydrogen economy, where cars run on nearly emission- free fuel, faces many roadblocks. But a discovery by a team at Virginia Tech may help pave the way for cleaner burning vehicles.
Typically, hydrogen fuel for cars is made from natural gas. But Virginia Tech researchers have come up with a new way to make hydrogen from bio-mass, readily available plant leftovers such as corn husks or saw dust, with no need for fossil fuel in the process.
With a major snowstorm blowing across the Commonwealth, Governor Terry McAuliffe says the declaration allows the Virginia Department of Transportation to mobilize its 12,000 pieces of equipment, and 2,500 workers and contractors to respond.
The governor is also calling on Virginians to stay off the roads, if possible, in order to allow emergency vehicles passage and to cut down on the potential for accidents.
"Every part of the Commonwealth is going to be impacted by this storm," Gov. McAuliffe said. "Every single part of the Commonwealth."
When the federal government refused to issue a permit for the proposed Route 29 bypass, opponents in Charlottesville were relieved, but Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation says the idea is not dead.
Aubrey Layne is a businessman, but he served five years on the Commonwealth Transportation Board, and in that time he was convinced something had to be done about traffic congestion in Charlottesville.
“When I was a CTB member, I did vote for the bypass.”