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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

DMV Offices Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
Drivers Urged to Use Caution During Increased Holiday Traffic

RICHMOND - All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers will close for the Thanksgiving holiday from Thursday, November 25 through Saturday, November 27, 2010, and reopen on Monday, November 29.

DMV customers can avoid service delays after the holiday closure by using DMV's preferred service options, including DMV's automated telephone service (1-888-337-4782) and the mail. Through www.dmvNOW.com, customers can complete 25 different transactions without visiting an office.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, a lot of travelers will be on the roads and drivers are encouraged to buckle up, slow down and avoid distractions. "Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest times of the year on Virginia's highways," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "The increased traffic and sense of urgency among folks trying to get to holiday celebrations can be a deadly combination."

Sixteen people died (3.2 per day) on Virginia's roads during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday last year. Twelve people died (2.4 per day) in 2008 and 19 people were killed in 2007 (3.8 per day.) Comparatively, there were 1.25 fatalities per day for the New Year's holiday period last year, and 1.75 per day for the 2009 Memorial Day holiday.

"To reduce needless crashes and deaths, we urge motorists to ensure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up. Slow down, keep a safe following distance and don't use the cell phone or other electronic devices while driving," Holcomb said.

Last year in Virginia, there were 26,870 crashes attributed to some kind of driver distraction, or 23 percent of the total crashes for 2009; 1,580 of the 26,870 crashes were attributed to the driver using a cell phone. There were 29,545 driver distraction-related crashes in 2008 and 28,969 in 2007.

Also in Virginia last year, 333 of the 756 people who died on the roads were not wearing a safety restraint, and 4,768 of those injured in traffic crashes in 2009 were unrestrained.

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