RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond police hope to crack down on dangerous driving after a spike in fatal crashes this year.
Major Donald Davenport announced the 90-day Roadway Safety Reinforcement campaign at a briefing last week.
“It’s to reignite our efforts within the police department to get out there and enforce those laws that need to be enforced,” he said.
Officers identified at least ten places across the city to try to monitor the dangerous driving. Earlier this month, a 64-year-old woman was killed walking across Chamberlayne Avenue.
According to Richmond police, there were 27 fatal crashes in 2022. Ten of those crashes involved pedestrians. Their focus during the campaign: speeding.
“Speed is the number one factor when you start talking about serious injuries and car crashes to include fatalities,” Davenport said during the briefing.
He added they’re focused on other reckless driving behaviors, too. Speed, aggressive driving, pedestrian safety, impaired driving, inattentive driving, he said.
Police said funding had been the stumbling block to enforcement. But now that the department was granted more money, Davenport said they’re putting more officers on the streets.
The department will also be able to get more manpower by recertifying some officers whose certifications may have lapsed.
Neighboring counties like Henrico and Chesterfield will help out. Virginia State Police will also assist Richmond police with sobriety checkpoints, Davenport said.
“We talk about pedestrians and crosswalks and all the things that are put in place,” he said. “We need to have initiative to go out and enforce those. Ensure that when people are using crosswalks, that motorists are complying with that.”
The campaign runs through March 12, 2023. Mayor Levar Stoney said about $1 million is set aside in the surplus budget to put speed tables around the city.