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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 20, 2007
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

DMV will Close on Labor Day
Holiday Marks New School Year and Safety Concerns

RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be closed Monday, September 3 in observance of Labor Day.

As Labor Day brings the unofficial end of summer, the holiday also marks the first day of school for most Virginia children, which is Tuesday, September 4. Motorists should be aware of the increase in traffic, school buses and pedestrians.

"With the start of school across Virginia, motorists are reminded to be cautious in our neighborhoods and within all designated school zones," said D.B. Smit, Commissioner of DMV, the Virginia Highway Safety Office. "Most school bus-related fatalities occur while children are getting on or off the bus, so drivers need to always be attentive, and obey the posted speed limits and school bus signals."

Since 1995, 1,509 people have died in school transportation-related crashes, an average of 137 fatalities per year in the United States, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Here are some reminders about school bus safety:

  • Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children. Motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm mean the bus has stopped and children are boarding or exiting the bus. Motorists must come to a complete stop a safe distance from the bus and wait until the bus begins moving before they start driving again.

To find out more about Virginia laws surrounding motorists and school buses, visit www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/general/safety/schoolbus/law.asp

Although DMV is closed on Labor Day, customers may conduct a variety of routine transactions by visiting www.dmvNOW.com, by using DMV's automated telephone service (1-888-337-4782) or the mail.

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