Rise in traffic incidents leads to increase in patrols on Chippenham Parkway

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Local authorities say accidents have been a huge problem for drivers on Chippenham Parkway this year, largely due to aggressive driving.

To combat the rise in accidents — nearly 200 have been reported so far this year — local law enforcement agencies have launched an “aggressive driving campaign.”

d73c239447c84f93b419bbdb4b3c8444In the Huguenot and Forest Hill areas, residents have no choice but to use Chippenham Parkway to get where they’re going, though some say they would rather not if they can help it.

“People tailgate and they follow too close behind and it seems like they’re irritated that there’s a light there and they can’t just keep going,” Patti Bianchi explained. “If it’s a certain time of day, I’ll just avoid that area.”

In the years she and her family have lived in the area, both her daughter and husband have been in car accidents on the Chippenham.

“I was creeping out when someone was stopped in the lane closest to me to let me make a left-hand turn, I pulled out and then someone came speeding down the road, and the light was red,” Bianchi’s daughter, Katie, added.

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According to the DMV, Chippenham Parkway has seen 199 accidents since January 1, two of which were fatal. That’s compared to 209 accidents recorded last year by Chesterfield County Police.

“The biggest issues we’ve seen is speed as well as following too closely,” explained Lieutenant Justin Aronson, Special Operations Unit Commander for the Chesterfield County Police Department. “And then when there are incidents that occur, I always see a big increase in people failing to move over for stopped emergency vehicles.”

53dc35f9918b4bfd8fe87bd3ea05c75cChesterfield County, along with Henrico County, the City of Richmond and Virginia State Police will be working together through the holidays to stop aggressive driving.

Aggressive driving can land you with fines up to $2500 and possible jail time, depending on what the offense is.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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