Traffic deaths down over 2016 Memorial Day weekend in Virginia

policeThe 2016 Memorial Day holiday weekend proved safer for those traveling the highways of Virginia in comparison to the 2015 Memorial Day weekend.

During the four-day statistical counting period, preliminary numbers report a total of eight drivers and passengers died in seven traffic crashes statewide this past holiday weekend. During the same time period in 2015, traffic crashes claimed a total of 14 lives on Virginia highways.

The seven traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Accomack, Amherst, Arlington, Henrico, New Kent, Pittsylvania and York. Monday’s single-vehicle crash (May 30, 2016) in Accomack County claimed the lives of both the driver and passenger. State troopers responded to and investigated a total of 847 traffic crashes statewide during the four-day statistical counting period.

“As encouraging as this decrease is in traffic deaths for the extended holiday weekend, we still have a great deal of work to do to save even more lives on Virginia’s highways,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We are on the cusp of the summer vacation and travel season, so we need all motorists to do their part in driving to save lives by buckling up, complying with speed limits, avoiding driving distractions, and never driving drunk or drugged. Drive like your life depends on it.”

Of the seven passenger vehicle fatalities over the holiday weekend, three of the drivers were not wearing seat belts. In addition, as part of the ongoing 2016 Click It or Ticket (CIOT) spring mobilization campaign, Virginia State Police troopers cited 913 safety belt violations and another 272 child safety seat violations. The two-week, concentrated CIOT educational and enforcement initiative began Monday, May 23, 2016, and runs through Sunday, June 5, 2016. The annual Click It or Ticket campaign combines high visibility enforcement of seat belt and child safety seat laws with outreach and education.

Virginia State Police also participated over the holiday weekend the Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) traffic safety initiative that began 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 27, 2016, and concluded Monday, May 30, 2016, at midnight. The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement agencies to increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays, like Memorial Day. The 2015 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 11,245 speeders and 2,678 reckless drivers. A total of 134 drunken drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers.

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.


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