Speed, lack of safety restraints factors in six traffic deaths over Thanksgiving weekend
Eight Virginia traffic crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend claimed a total of 10 lives, according to data from the Virginia State Police.
Excessive speed played a role in four of the eight crashes that led to the deaths of six, including a teen and a 6-year-old boy, neither of whom were wearing appropriate safety restraints.
“Speed and lack of personal safety restraints continue to cost Virginians their lives,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As we continue through the holiday season, I am pleading with Virginians of all ages to respect and comply with all traffic safety laws. Virginia State Police and your loved ones want you to arrive at your destination safely.”
The fatal crashes occurred in the cities of Lynchburg, Newport News and Richmond and the counties of Frederick, Pittsylvania, Rockingham and Shenandoah.
Of those crashes, one was alcohol-related, four were speed-related and one involved a pedestrian.
In an effort to prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. – Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. Operation CARE is an annual, state-sponsored, national program during which state police increases its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period.
The 2020 Thanksgiving Holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 4,930 speeders and 1,706 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers charged 67 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and cited 498 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.
State Police responded to 733 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth, with 117 of those resulting in injuries.
VSP also assisted 1,609 disabled/stranded motorists during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.