Virginia State Police urge safety first ahead of Memorial Day weekend

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RICHMOND, Va. — As Memorial Day weekend nears, Virginia State Police is urging motorists to drive safely as they travel across the Commonwealth.

Last year, there were seven fatalities and 652 traffic crashes statewide over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

So, this year, State Police is reminding drivers to make sure traffic safety is at the top of their agenda.

State Police said to ensure safe travels, troopers will increase patrols during the 4-day holiday weekend, beginning Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28.

The department will join law enforcement around the country for Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort), a national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.

During last year’s initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 109 drunk drivers, cited 10,337 speeders and 2,395 reckless drivers, and issued 250 citations for child seat violations.

In addition, more than 800 individuals were cited for failing to wear a seat belt.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign also runs through Memorial Day weekend. Troopers will be vigilant in their efforts to increase seat belt usage for travelers. The program runs through Sunday, June 3.

“Last year, 843 people were killed on Virginia’s highways. On average, that’s more than two people a day, 16 people a week and 70 people a month. But no matter how you count these tragic incidents, there are just too many,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent.

State Police is also reminding driver of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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