RICHMOND, VA. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police are expecting an increased level of traffic this holiday weekend compared to Memorial Day of 2020. With this in mind, they are asking people to have a “Safety First” mindset while traveling.
“As a state of normalcy returns to Virginia’s roadways and families head out for summer adventures, motorists need to remember that as traffic increases so should their vigilance and patience,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “During this holiday weekend, Virginians will see traffic numbers that we haven’t experienced in close to a year. All drivers need to remember to not only comply with posted speed limits, but to also be patient and alert for added congestion on our roads.”
Police said from May 21 to May 26 this year alone, there were 22 traffic fatalities so far.
“Just within the past six days, 22 people have lost their lives on a Virginia roadway. Preliminary data shows at least eight of those were not wearing a seat belt, to include a 10-year-old boy,” Settle said. “Eight lives that may have been saved with the simple click of a seat belt. It’s an easy decision to make – buckle up. And buckle up everyone riding in your vehicle.”
Starting Friday, May 29, Virginia State Police said it will be participating in Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E). This is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to unsafe driving practices, such as impaired driving, and failing to wear a seat belt.
This initiative includes increased patrols. As such, VSP is reminding drivers Virignia has a “Move Over” law that requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road.
During last year’s Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, VSP said troopers arrested 70 drunk drivers, cited 2,469 speeders and issued 224 citations for failing to wear a seat belt.