RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police has announced that the number of traffic crash deaths during this year’s Memorial Day weekend has decreased by nearly half from last year.

Eight people were killed in traffic crashes this past Memorial Day weekend compared to 15 fatalities during the same period of time last year, according to State Police. What’s more, five out of the eight individuals who died did not wear a seatbelt, emphasizing the importance of the need to buckle up while on the road.

A release from Virginia State Police revealed that between May 23 through May 30, state troopers cited a total of 660 individuals for seat belt violations and 118 for child safety restraint violations. Almost 5,000 people were caught speeding while close to 2,000 were cited for reckless driving.

“I am pleased to see the number of traffic crash fatalities drop by almost half from 2021, but remember, clicking your seatbelt is your first line of defense against someone else’s bad decision on the road,” VSP Superintendent Gary T. Settle said in the release. “Virginia State Police urge all Virginia drivers to step up and make safe decisions.”

Money from summonses issued by State Police will go directly to payments for court fees and the Commonwealth’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.