RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Drivers kept Virginia State Police troopers quite busy over the long Labor Day holiday weekend. State Police wrote more than 116 speeding tickets an hour between Friday and Monday.
The 11,204 speeding citations issued by Virginia State Police during that time period represented a 3,017 ticket jump from 2012 and a 3,729 ticket jump from 2011.
State Police spokeswoman Deborah Cox said there was no one answer as to why the number of speeding tickets written by state police increased over Labor Day weekend 2013 when compared to past Labor Day weekends.
|Year||Va. State Police speeding citations|
|Labor Day weekend 2013||11,204|
|Labor Day weekend 2012||8,187|
|Labor Day weekend 2011||7,475|
|Labor Day weekend 2010||8,836|
|Labor Day weekend 2009||9,386|
|Labor Day weekend 2008||8,474|
Cox said factors like weather and number of people traveling over the holiday can impact citation numbers.
"State Police did not change its Labor Day enforcement methods," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller wrote in an email in response to a question about the increase in speeding tickets. "However, due to the number of recent trooper graduations we have been able to fill trooper vacancies, thus enabling us to have more troopers on patrol during a holiday weekend."
While the number of speeding citations increased rather drastically, the number of reckless driving citations more closely mirrored previous years. The 2,464 reckless driving citations written in 2013 were just five more than last year and 300 more than 2011.
|Year||Va. State Police reckless driving citations|
|Labor Day weekend 2013||2,464|
|Labor Day weekend 2012||2,459|
|Labor Day weekend 2011||2,164|
|Labor Day weekend 2010||2,420|
|Labor Day weekend 2009||2,587|
|Labor Day weekend 2008||2,395|
Virginia State Police reported nine traffic-related deaths over the Labor Day weekend. That number is slightly greater than the six deaths reported in 2012, but lower than the 14 deaths reported in 2011. A record 22 people were killed in traffic-related death over Labor Day weekend 2007.
|Labor Day weekend 2013||9|
|Labor Day weekend 2012||6|
|Labor Day weekend 2011||14|
|Labor Day weekend 2010||8|
|Labor Day weekend 2009||13|
|Labor Day weekend 2008||7|
“There is only so much our enforcement efforts can do to help ensure the safety of the interstates. It’s also up to the individual behind the wheel to do their part to be responsible and make safe choices,” Virginia State Police Superintendent Colonel W. Steven Flaherty said in an emailed statement. “Driver attention, buckling up and complying with speed limits are imperative, necessary actions a driver must take in order to be aggressive about their safety and the security of those who ride with them.”