Traffic safety is the responsibility of everyone using streets and roadways: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle operators. We feature current traffic-safety initiatives, educate residents on traffic safety, and provide resources that you can use and share with others.
The Prince William County Police Department takes part in several regional traffic safety campaigns throughout the year, in addition to our routine traffic enforcement efforts. These campaigns center on specific enforcement of laws enacted to save lives. With each campaign, the Department issues a news release announcing the campaign dates and the goal the campaign is seeking to achieve. Social media posts are then completed throughout the campaign to continue the educational element for the public.
In addition to these campaigns, the Police Department also holds specific County-related traffic safety efforts around the beginning of each school year in school zones to educate drivers that school is back in session and to take necessary enforcement action for the safety of students. With regard to DUI safety, the Police Department also announces DUI related checkpoints in advance in an effort to deter drunk driving by encouraging sober driving or having a designated driver. Around the holidays throughout the year, the Department partners with and shares information on regional programs options such as the Washington Regional Alcohol Program's SoberRide.
The Police Department offers a variety of different ways members of the community can report traffic concerns. Once a complaint is received, it is forwarded to the Traffic Unit and, depending on the complaint, the respective District administrative staff for further review and action. Most complaints are tracked and assigned for follow-up in a timely manner. Below are the reporting methods available to County residents.
Commercial Vehicle Concerns: To express concerns with any commercial vehicle traveling through, parking, or otherwise operating in Prince William County, please send an email to the Police Department.
Starting January 1, 2021, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle in the Commonwealth of Virginia while holding a handheld personal communications device. Exemptions include:
This campaign is particularly aimed at increasing the use of seat belts among young people in the United States. The campaign relies heavily on targeted advertising aimed at teens and young adults. [Usually in the months of May and November]
This campaign focuses on law enforcement and their goal to stop drunk drivers. The campaign highlights a constant police presence searching for drunk drivers as a way of deterring people from drinking and driving. [Usually in the months of August and December]
This campaign seeks to protect vulnerable road users by raising awareness about pedestrian and bicycle safety. The region-wide public safety campaign educates drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on about safe use of roadways in the area. [Usually in the months of April and November]
Motorists should be aware that more than 200 Prince William County streets carry an enhanced fine for speeding – $200 over and above the standard fine for speeding. These streets were approved by the Board of County Supervisors at the request of residents or organizations representing residents who live along those roads.
The enhanced signs are a traffic-calming measure that a community must petition to receive. The community must acquire 51-percent support for the targeted streets in order to bring the request to the attention of County government.
Typically this initiative is a result of perceived speeding problems in a community, and the enhanced fine is intended to discourage risk-takers by making them think about the additional $200.
Prince William County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) move quickly to meet citizen requests for the enhanced fine speeding zones. The legislation went into effect in July 1996. The first residential streets to receive the signs were Hillendale Road in Woodbridge (22193) and the two-lane section of Smoketown Road in Woodbridge (22192).
It is the Commonwealth Transportation Board's policy that VDOT, upon a formal request from Prince William County government, will install the signs on local residential streets and on 'collector' streets that have residential characteristics. These streets must have a posted speed limit of 35 m.p.h. or less. The warning signs advise motorists of an additional fine of up to $200 above other penalties provided by law for exceeding the speed limit.
Homeowners associations can request that the signs be posted at the entrances and exits of neighborhoods – a change that keeps VDOT from having to install signs on each and every road.
Make sure you’re visible to drivers at all times and make eye contact with them whenever possible. This is especially important at night, in low-light conditions such as dusk or dawn, or in inclement weather.
Distractions are everywhere and are more difficult to avoid. As a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your best tools for keeping safe. Stay alert and watch out.
Know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to properly anticipate what drivers will do. This will help increase your safety.
Use crosswalks when crossing the street. If a crosswalk is unavailable, be sure to find the most well-lit spot on the road to cross and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to make it safely across the street.
Almost half of all traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths involve alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, 34 percent of that total was on the part of the pedestrian. Alcohol impairs your decision-making skills, physical reflexes and other abilities just as much on your feet as it does behind the wheel.
Look out for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists at all times. When you are operating a vehicle, you have accepted a heightened responsibility for other people on the road.
Alcohol and drugs impair your reaction time, reflexes, decision-making skills and overall cognitive functions. Getting behind the wheel while impaired puts everyone in danger.
Always wear a helmet with a face shield or protective eye wear.
Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect against severe head injuries. A motorcycle rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury.
Make sure to wear protective gear and clothing that will minimize the amount of injuries in case of an accident or a skid. Wearing leather clothing, boots with nonskid soles, and gloves can protect your body from severe injuries. Consider attaching reflective tape to your clothing to make it easier for other drivers to see you.
Obey the speed limit; the faster you go the longer it will take you to stop. Be aware of local traffic laws and rules of the road.
Don't assume that a driver can see you, as nearly two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver violating a rider's right of way.
For more information, please contact the Public Information Office by calling 703-792-5123 or email.