RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Nine people, including three motorcyclists, died this past Fourth of July weekend across Virginia, according to Virginia State Police.
The nine deadly crashes happened in the cities of Danville, Franklin, Norfolk and Portsmouth and the counties of Chesterfield, Botetourt, King William, Loudoun and Warren. VSP said the motorcycle crashes happened in the cities of Franklin and Portsmouth and Chesterfield County. One person was also killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash in King William County.
Three of the motorcycle crashes involved one car and the driver losing control of the car. The crashes in the City of Danville and Warren County involved pedestrians.
By comparison, last year’s Fourth of July weekend saw 12 traffic deaths in Virginia.
This weekend, 69 drivers in Virginia were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 4,262 speeders and 1,585 reckless drivers were given citations, while 426 citations were given for not wearing a seat belt and 131 were given for children not being properly secured.
VSP troopers cited 165 drivers for violating Virginia’s “hands-free” law that was enacted last year and makes it illegal to use a handheld cellphone while driving. 977 disabled and stranded drivers were also helped by troopers this weekend.
“As encouraging as it is to see fewer traffic deaths this July 4 holiday weekend compared to last year, Virginians still cannot let their guard down when it comes to traffic safety,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As of today, Virginia has already recorded 423 traffic deaths statewide, and we’re only halfway through 2022 and the summer months. I cannot stress enough the need for drivers to slow their speed, wear a seat belt, drive distraction free, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Simply drive to save lives.”
The numbers in this report come from the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), a state-sponsored and national program made to “reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failure to wear a seat belt.”