Highway Safety

Gov. Phil Scott says he wants to be sure road safety concerns are dealt with before approving a legal recreational marijuana market in Vermont.
La_Corivo / iStock.com

Gov. Phil Scott says he’s about to convene a “blue ribbon commission” to study issues related to the legalization of marijuana.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As House lawmakers ponder whether or not to legalize marijuana, two key questions have risen to the fore: Will legal pot make Vermont’s highways more dangerous? And will more young residents use cannabis if it’s sold legally in stores?

The answers all depend on who you ask.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Vermont highway safety officials are concerned about the number of people driving on the interstate well beyond the speed limit. In just the last month a number of drivers have been clocked at over a hundred miles per hour.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

State transportation officials are using some new high-tech tools to help inspect the condition of roads throughout Vermont. And legislative leaders say the program helps the state target its transportation resources to those projects that are most in need of repair.

parkerdeen / iStock

Dozens of schools were closed again in Vermont on Monday. The culprit this time was the low temperature, not heavy snowfall. Bitter cold makes starting buses and heating school buildings a big challenge.

Trinity Industries, Inc. / YouTube

State transportation officials are assessing if a type of guard rail that's been installed in Vermont over the last 10 years poses safety hazards to the public. They are taking this step because a number of states have determined that these products are unsafe and could cause serious injury to motorists.

In the past month, four states, Massachusetts, Missouri, Virginia and Nevada have banned the future use of guard rails that were manufactured by a company in Texas.

Sean Marshall / Flickr

Statistically speaking, it’s a good year to go for a drive. According to the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance, the number of traffic fatalities is half of what it was a year ago. State transportation officials aren’t sure why, but they say it may be due to better and more widely shared data.

By mid October of last year, 64 people had died in traffic crashes in Vermont. But so far this year, the number of roadway fatalities is 32, a dramatic drop.

There's a stretch of Vermont Route 4, between Bridgewater and Hartford, that's locally referred to as the "crash corridor." That section of road was the site of 392 motor vehicle accidents between January 1, 2008 and June 9, 2013. Included in that number are seven crashes resulting in eight fatalities - five of which occurred this year.

In June the crash corridor was the focus of a Highway Safety Roundtable, organized by the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance. A report on the meeting is posted on the Town of Hartford website.