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Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and State Police team up to patrol high-collision roads

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 7:26 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Hermitage Road and Jefferson Highway in Augusta County are not only well-known for being prominent routes in the area, but also for the high volume of crashes that happen there every year.

Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith says they're increasing patrol on Jefferson Highway and...
Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith says they're increasing patrol on Jefferson Highway and Hermitage Road. (WHSV)(WHSV)

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday, August 1 they’d be stepping up patrol, and they wouldn’t be doing it alone.

“I asked state police to come in and assist us with traffic enforcement on both roads,” said Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith.

Smith said they’re taking a new approach to slowing people down.

“We’ve put deputies out there, we’ve put troopers out there. We’ve tried to address it the best way that we could, but it just didn’t seem to be working,” Smith said.

They said the increased attention to the two roadways is meant to decrease the number of crashes. VDOT reported 16 crashes on Jefferson Hwy. and 14 on Hermitage Rd. so far in 2021.

“We’re putting a lot of resources out there to enforce the speed limit, to slow people down and to bring awareness to those roadways out there,” he said.

Smith said if you’re caught driving too fast, this weekend’s announcement was your warning, so there will be little slack for anyone breaking the speed limit.

“I’m putting people out here and have given them strict orders to enforce the speed limit with zero tolerance,” Smith said.

He said, though, it’s not just about writing tickets.

“Our goal is not to issue tickets. Our goal is to bring awareness to it and force people to slow down,” Smith said.

Officials said there are many reasons crashes happen, like distracted driving or driving under the influence, but speed is a factor in many crashes on Hermitage and Jefferson.

As for anyone driving those roads who are nervous about dangerous drivers, Smith said to stay aware of other drivers.

“They need to pay attention to their surroundings and pay attention to what the speed limit is.”

He said the increased patrol will last until the end of the month.

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