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Rain, heavy traffic could impact drivers in Virginia this Memorial Day weekend

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The Virginia State Police is encouraging drivers to be prepared before hitting the roads for Memorial Day weekend.

VSP is telling Virginians to pack your patience for potential delays and congested highways due to significant traffic volume and inclement weather conditions.

“Virginians need to make traffic safety a priority every day and, especially, as we head into the Memorial Day weekend and summer travel season,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Memorial Day weekend is filled with celebrations, vacations, outdoor festivals and backyard cookouts, which is why we need all motorists to share the road responsibly by driving smart, safe and sober.”

Travelers are also encouraged by VSP to “know before you go” by checking Virginia Department of Transportation’s 511 traffic cameras and real-time information on road conditions by dialing 511 or visiting www.511Virginia.org

Beginning today, VSP joins law enforcement around the country for the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort, a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.

During the 2022 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative, 16 individuals lost their lives in traffic crashes on Virginia roadways. During last year’s combined Memorial Day C.A.R.E. initiative and the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, Virginia Troopers cited 4,888 speeders and 1,875 reckless drivers and arrested 90 impaired drivers. In addition, 659 individuals were cited for seat belt violations, 117 were cited for child safety restraint violations and 144 felony arrests were made. Virginia State Police also assisted 1,735 disabled motorists.

The 2023 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 26 and continues through midnight Monday, May 29. All available state police troopers and supervisors will be on patrol through the holiday weekend to help keep traffic moving safely and responsibly.

With the increased patrols, VSP also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.