2009 is off to a deadly start on VA roads

From Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - 2009 is off to a deadly start on Virginia Roads.

The first traffic death, happened just one minute into the new year, in Fairfax.

A few hours later, another person was killed in a car crash in Pittsylvania.

The good news is compared to 2007, traffic fatalities reduced in 2008.

"Virginia experienced 200 fewer deaths on the roadways in 2008," said State Police Sgt. Tom Cunningham.

The bad news is, the Commonwealth is off to a bad start on the roads in 2009 with two lives lost in traffic crashes on New Years Day.

In both wrecks, the victims were not wearing seatbelts.

"That's bad, that's bad because it is a senseless death," said motorist Cindy Huffman.

Huffman was sad to hear about deaths she termed senseless.

She wore her seatbelt this time, but admits she doesn't always buckle up.

"It should be a first reaction, but I gotta admit that I could be one of the one's to be a fatality," she said. "I get harped at I gotta admit, my daughters ride with me and they're the first to remind me every time. My middle child she's a nurse and she tells me, it's stupid, it's such a stupid way to die."

Chesterfield resident Sonia Osorio says she always wears her seatbelt because she's too fearful of the consequences.

"I think it's just safe for your life," she said. "You know somebody hit you or you know something happen, it's better for safety."

Virginia State Police say the reduction of traffic crashes in 2008 was due in part to driver responsibiltiy.

So if more people would buckle up that trend can continue in 2009.

It really is life or death.

Statistics show that 63 percent of people killed in car accidents are not buckled up.

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