Northam at IIHS

Gov. Ralph Northam discusses vehicle and pedestrian safety at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Ruckersville on Tuesday.

RUCKERSVILLE — Gov. Ralph Northam designated April as Virginia Highway Safety Month during a visit to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Ruckersville on Tuesday.

More than 800 fatalities occurred on Virginia highways in 2018, with more than 200 of those caused by distracted drivers. Northam also noted that 123 pedestrians were killed in 2018.

“The vehicular design has improved, and we’re doing a lot for our roadways and they have improved,” Northam said during his announcement. “It’s really driver behavior that we really need to focus on.”

Following the announcement, Northam received a tour of the facility and observed demonstrations on technology that can prevent collisions with pedestrians, as well as a side impact crash test of a 2019 Mazda 3.

“This is all about saving lives in the commonwealth of Virginia,” Northam said. “The Insurance Institute does wonderful work, and I just wish more people could experience this — especially our legislators that make laws in the commonwealth of Virginia. April is Highway Safety Month because we want out drivers to be safe all across the commonwealth, and what a great place to come and make this announcement.”

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Logan Bogert is a reporter for the Greene County Record in Stanardsville, Virginia. She can be reached at or (434) 985-2315. Follow Logan on Twitter at @Logan_Bogert.

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