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Virginia Sheriffs’ Association
The Voice of Virginia’s Sheriffs & Deputies

October is a notoriously dangerous month in regards to traffic safety. That’s why the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association is partnering with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to call attention to October as Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month, as well as participate in Operation Crash Reduction. Additionally, as Halloween draws closer, please keep in mind the safety guidelines for how to best prevent injuries.

October is Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes October as Pedestrian Safety Awareness month. The Virginia crash data indicates pedestrian crashes, fatalities and injuries trended higher for three consecutive years. Therefore, there is a need to educate our communities on pedestrian safety. Pedestrian crash data totals in the Commonwealth of Virginia are as follows:

However, messaging, education and enforcement initiatives by all partners’ has assisted in reducing fatalities and serious injuries. See the comparison from 2019 – 2020 preliminary data through September 15 of each year:

Knowing the data and using the available resources below will be important as we all work to decrease the pedestrian related crashes, fatalities, and injuries. The following resources are included for our partners to use to educate our communities.

Everyone is a Pedestrian

Pedestrian Safety Tool Kit for Hispanics

DMV pedestrian safety

Toward Zero Deaths

See and Be Seen  (Drive Smart Virginia)

shareVAroads  (Northern Virginia Regional Commission)

Street Smart Safety Campaign


Halloween Highway Safety Campaign

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which normally brings out more drunk drivers. Last year around Halloween, from October 30 to November 1, 2019, there were 67 alcohol-related crashes, 37 injuries and three deaths in the Commonwealth. Virginia DMV encourages you to prevent impaired driving crashes by educating Virginians on the dangers of risky behavior both behind the wheel and while walking.

Impaired pedestrians and drivers can be a deadly combination on Halloween. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has downloadable Halloween messaging on its Traffic Safety Marketing websiteAnother option is to share the Act Like It anti-drunk driving video on your agency’s social media outlets. Additionally, YOVASO has safety tips for trick-or-treaters and drivers on Halloween, along with safety tips from Safe Kids.

According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Please be extra cautious on the roads during this time.


National Teen Driver Safety Week – October 18-24, 2020

National Teen Driver Safety Week will be observed from October 18-24, 2020.  DMV is asking you to help educate our communities about teen driver safety by providing highway safety messages throughout your communities. We have provided the following resources that you may use for teen driver safety education:

NHTSA Traffic Safety Marketing:  National Teen Driver Safety Week

NHTSA 2020 Teen Social Media Playbook

Virginia DMV:  Teen Driver Safety

YOVASO (Youth of Virginia Speak Out)

Chesterfield SAFE

Drive Safe Hampton Roads

Partners for Safe Teen Driving


Operation Crash Reduction – October 9-12, 2020

Nationwide from 2014 to 2018, October was the most dangerous month on America’s roads, accounting for more fatal crashes than during any other month. For National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Region 3, motor vehicle crashes are especially high, with states seeing the highest number of fatalities occurring during October’s holiday weekend from 2014 to 2018, compared to other holiday periods.

To help drivers and passengers stay safe on the roads, the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association and Virginia highway safety partners are joining NHTSA for the Operation Crash Reduction effort. The purpose of the campaign is to save lives and prevent injuries. During this awareness campaign, highway safety partners will be educating drivers or passengers of the dangers of driving unbuckled.

2018 National Seat Belt Statistics

  • Remember: seat belts save lives. Not only is it the law, but buckling up provides the best defense against injury or death in a crash.
  • Younger people continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes and seat belt nonuse. Among young adults 18 to 34 killed in crashes in 2018 in passenger vehicles, more than half (52%) were completely unrestrained — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
  • In 2018, 50% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were unbuckled.


  • From 2009 to 2018, October was the second most dangerous month on Virginia’s roads, with 712 traffic fatalities during that time period.
  • From 2014 to 2018, October was the most dangerous month on Virginia’s roads, with 367 traffic fatalities during that time period. In fact, the 2018 holiday weekend was the second most dangerous holiday weekend of the year in Virginia.
  • In October 2019, there were 12,568 crashes, 86 fatalities and 6,036 injuries.  These were the highest totals for any month in 2019.  More than half (51.8%) of the fatalities in 2019, were unrestrained.

Logistics and Resources

Operation Crash Reduction will take place from Friday, October 9, to Monday, October 12.

Operation Crash Reduction Fact Sheet

Operation Crash Reduction Social Media Information

Operation Crash Reduction Press Release