Labor Day weekend traffic crashes claim 11 lives in Virginia


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With 11 traffic deaths occurring over the Labor Day weekend, the preliminary number of total traffic deaths for Virginia in 2019 is quickly catching up to the 2018 to-date total.

As of Sept. 1, 2019, there have been a reported 510 traffic fatalities statewide, compared to 520 fatalities last year on this date.

“Despite our enforcement and outreach efforts in advance of the Labor Day weekend, Virginia still had 11 men and women killed in traffic crashes on our highways,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Speed and alcohol were common factors in many of the holiday fatal crashes, which pushed us over 500 traffic deaths for the year so far. At what point have Virginians had enough of men, women, teens and children dying on our highways? All we ask is for Virginians to make responsible driving practices and habits an every-day priority. Please make that commitment today, so we can save more lives than lose them in these final months of 2019.”

During the 2019 four-day holiday statistical counting period, 11 men and women were killed in nine traffic crashes across the Commonwealth. The traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Franklin, Goochland, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania and Wise. Prince William County had two separate fatal crashes occur over the Labor Day weekend. Prince William and Franklin counties each had one traffic crash that resulted in two deaths. State police investigated a total 684 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.

Motorcycles were involved in three of the nine fatal traffic crashes. Both of the Prince William County fatal crashes involved motorcycles, with one claiming the lives of the motorcycle’s operator and passenger. The Franklin County crash also involved a motorcycle, with the operator and passenger being killed in the crash.

Both state police and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provide extensive training for motorcycle enthusiasts. On Sept. 21, 2019 in Wytheville and Salem, Virginia State Police will be offering its “Ride 2 Save Lives” Motorcycle Assessment Courses free of charge. Simply sign up through the Virginia State Police Facebook page. Information on DMV’s Virginia Rider Training Program Courses is available at https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#m_course.asp.

The Virginia State Police participated in two annual, traffic-safety enforcement programs over the 2019 Labor Day weekend: Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) andCheckpoint Strikeforce. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program began Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at 12:01 a.m., and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 2, 2019.

As a result of state police traffic safety enforcement efforts during the 2019 statistical counting period, Virginia troopers:

  • Stopped 7,279 speeders
  • Stopped 2,283 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 76 drivers for DUI/DUID
  • Cited 723 seat belt violations
  • Assisted 2,148 disabled/stranded motorists


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