Friday, April 17, 2015

Leesburg Road Closures This Weekend

There will be road closures for the Flower and Garden show in downtown Leesburg starting at 5:30 p.m. this evening, Friday, April 17, until approximately 10 p.m. Sunday, April 19.
 
Law enforcement officials report the following roads will be closed:
  • North King Street from Loudoun Street to North Street
  • Market Street from Church Street to Wirt Street
  • Cornwall Street from Church Street to Wirt Street
 
Motorists and pedestrians are reminded to use caution in the area. 

 
 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Loudoun Sheriff's Office to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoint Tonight, Friday, April 10

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office will conduct a sobriety checkpoint tonight, Friday, April 10, beginning at 10 p.m.

Law enforcement officials around the country have implemented education and enforcement efforts, including sobriety checkpoints, to ensure the roads are safe for all motorists by achieving voluntary compliance with the drinking and driving laws.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office designed the sobriety checkpoints to raise awareness and to discourage impaired driving.

"In Loudoun County, DUI arrests and DUI related crashes decreased over the past several years. The decrease in DUI related crashes coupled with the decline in arrests reflect the national trend that fewer people are getting behind the wheel while intoxicated," said Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman.

Between 2010 and 2013, DUI related arrests in Loudoun County declined 12.6%, a trend similar to the 17.2% decline in DUI arrests observed by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. DUI related crashes decreased 28% over the past two years in Loudoun.

 
"These numbers reflect the efforts of local, regional and national educational and enforcement campaigns to curb drunk driving," noted Sheriff Chapman.

Members of the Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Unit and volunteers from the Loudoun Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will assist with the checkpoint.



 
 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Register for Bike to Work Day

Registration is now open for Bike to Work Day, planned for Friday, May 15.  

 

New and experienced bicycle commuters are invited to register at www.biketoworkmetrodc.org or by calling 800-745-7433. Loudoun County hosts two local pit stops where registrants can pick-up free t-shirts, receive giveaways, enjoy refreshments, and win prizes.

 

Bike to Work Day celebrates a clean, healthy and fun way to get to work at more than 70 different pit stops throughout the metropolitan Washington region. The Loudoun County pit stops are adjacent to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail in:

 

  • Leesburg at Raflo Park on Harrison Street, from 6-9 a.m.
  • Sterling, just east of Route 28, at Ruritan Road behind Orbital ATK from 6:30-9 a.m.

 

This free event is coordinated regionally by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The local festivities are planned by Loudoun County Commuter Services.  

 

For more information, or to obtain the 2015 event poster, contact Judy Galen at 703-737-8044. More information also is online at www.loudoun.gov/biketowork.



 
 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Reminds Motorists to Avoid Distractions while Driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is reminding drivers to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

 

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has made an effort to educate the public, including younger drivers, about the dangers of texting and driving. According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.

 

"Drivers of all ages must understand that texting and driving significantly increases your chances of becoming involved in a serious crash," said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. "The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has made the issue of distracted driving a priority through traffic safety enforcement and educational campaigns in an effort to make our roadways safer," added Chapman. 

 

In 2013, the agency launched the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Community Traffic Safety Management Program in coordination with the Monroe Technology Center (MTC), as part of Loudoun County Public Schools. The program developed a campaign, to include the creation of posters depicting the dangers of texting while driving. The in-school public awareness campaign continues to warn students of the dangers of texting and driving.

 

Residents are reminded that it is unlawful for any person to operate a moving vehicle on the highways in Loudoun County and the Commonwealth while using a handheld personal communications device to text, or read email per Virginia State Code 46.2-1078.1.

 

The dangers of distracted driving go beyond texting and driving. According to the National Safety Council,  more than 30 studies show the use of hands-free devices is not safer because you remain distracted from the task at hand, driving. 

 

Drivers are encouraged to turn off their cellphones when they are behind the wheel.
 
 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Loudoun County and Del. Ramadan Continue Fight to Lower Greenway Tolls

This week, Delegate David Ramadan, who represents Virginia's 87th District, and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors took new steps in the ongoing effort to lower Greenway tolls. Both Ramadan and Loudoun County filed legal briefs with the State Corporation Commission in appeal of its Hearing Examiner's findings, which did not result in a change to Greenway tolls.

 

"There was overwhelming evidence to the contrary," said Ramadan. "The evidence included expert testimony that was presented during a five-day trial."

 

Ramadan and the Board of Supervisors maintain that the commission should set appropriate toll rates for the Greenway.

 

"This has been a long fight. I firmly believe that the Greenway tolls violate Virginia law," said Ramadan. "I will continue to fight this highway robbery on behalf of my constituents all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary."

 

In December of 2012, Ramadan filed a complaint with the State Corporation Commission and in January of 2013 the commission approved an investigation of the Greenway tolls. The complaint argued that the commission should set tolls at a level (1) "which is reasonable to the user in relation to the benefit obtained;" (2) "which will not materially discourage use of the roadway by the public;" and (3) which will provide the operator no more than a reasonable return as determined by the commission."

 

Loudoun County supports Ramadan's approach as an interested party. A Hearing Examiner, appointed by the commission, issued the findings in January of 2014. During the 2015 General Assembly Session, Ramadan attempted to pass legislation that would have lowered Greenway tolls and required distance-based pricing. 


"Use of the Greenway has not increased as the population of Loudoun County has grown in recent years and this is contributing to traffic congestion in the region," said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York. "Loudoun County will continue to work with Delegate Ramadan and others to find a fair solution for our residents."

 

Following the filing of the legal briefs on March 30, the full State Corporation Commission is expected to hear the case in the coming months. 

 
* Official Loudoun County press release



 
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Taking your eyes off the road when driving, even for a moment, can result in injury, property damage, and even death. It can also put a dent in your auto insurance if you get a ticket or cause an accident.

 

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Insurance reminds commuters to keep your eyes on the road to save lives and property -- and keep auto insurance costs down.

 

Eight out of 10 traffic accidents in Virginia are related to a distracted driving incident, according to DRIVE SMART Virginia, a non-profit organization charged with raising awareness and changing behavior in order to improve the safety of Virginia's roadways.

 

Motor vehicle crashes caused by distracted drivers result in an estimated 3,000 deaths and 400,000 injuries in the United States annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

Texting is a major culprit when it comes to distracted driving. When you text and drive, you are 23 times more likely to be in an accident, according to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. However, anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road can cause distracted driving. Reaching for an object, eating, talking on the phone (hand-held or hands-free), applying makeup, reading, and adjusting clothing are just a few of the many other behaviors that distract drivers and increase their likelihood of being involved in a crash.

 

Insurance companies may increase your insurance premium for traffic violations or automobile accidents where you, a member of your household, or other customary operator of the vehicle was either wholly or partially at fault. This extra charge may be applied for as long as three years. In some cases, an insurance company may refuse to renew your auto insurance policy if you have even one ticket or accident that is your fault.

 

Your driving record can affect not only your insurance, but the insurance policies of other members of your household. Even if they are on a different policy, they can be non-renewed because of your driving record. So remember, pay extra attention to keep your eyes on the road and the reason you're behind the wheel.

 

For more information regarding distracted driving and other driver safety topics, visit the DRIVE SMART Virginia website at www.drivesmartva.org.

 

For more information on the State Corporation Commission's (SCC) Bureau of Insurance, call the Bureau toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at (804) 371-9741 or visit its website at www.scc.virginia.gov/boi.



 
 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Loudoun County Launches Rideshare Rewards Program

Now you can get rewarded for carpooling!

 

Loudoun County Commuter Services, in conjunction with NuRide, is launching a Rideshare Rewards program for carpoolers. To be eligible for the Rideshare Rewards, participants must:

  

  • Live or work in Loudoun County.
  • Drive or ride in a carpool to work. 
  • Record their carpool trips.

 

Rideshare Rewards are cash rewards valued from $25 to $100 provided on a gift card. The value of the Reward is based on carpool trips logged at NuRide.com before June 30.

 

Carpool matching is available at www.commuterconnections.org or at www.NuRide.com.

 

More information, including a link to register, is available online at www.loudoun.gov/carpool, or by calling Loudoun County Commuter Services at 703-771-5665.



 
 

Saturday, March 28, 2015