Governor Northam wants to improve driver safety, modernize transportation system

Governor Northam wants to improve driver safety, modernize transportation system
Governor Ralph Northam and legislative leaders announced support for a comprehensive transportation package that will improve driver and pedestrian safety and modernize funding for transit, rail and roads. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam and legislative leaders announced support for a comprehensive transportation package that will improve driver and pedestrian safety and modernize funding for transit, rail and roads.

This package will make roads safer by establishing a Virginia Highway Safety Improvement Program and will implement proven safety policies.

Measures will include prohibiting the use of handheld phones while driving, banning open containers of alcohol in vehicles, making failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense, enhance speed enforcement and allow localities to lower speed limits.

These measures are expected to save more than 120 lives each year.

“This bold package will reduce congestion, transform transit and rail service, and support economic growth across Virginia. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly to pass it into law," Governor Northam said.

This legislation modernizes Virginia’s transportation funding model by cutting vehicle registration fees in half, raise the gas tax and indexing it to inflation.

The use of bonds will be authorized to assist with the construction of a new rail Long Bridge across the Potomac River, increasing capacity for passenger, commuter and freight trains and reducing congestion.

The package also establishes a Transit Incentive Program, which will promote improved transit service, support regional routes and reduce barriers to transit use by low-income individuals.

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