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Traffic deaths down over Memorial Day weekend on Virginia highways

RICHMOND, Va. — The 2018 Memorial Day weekend proved safe on Virginia highways after the Commonwealth experienced its fewest number of traffic deaths in the past five years.

During the four-day holiday weekend, preliminary numbers show six traffic deaths occurred on Virginia highways, compared to seven fatalities in 2017.

The six fatal traffic crashes occurred in the City of Newport News, and the counties of Chesterfield, Grayson, Nelson, Pittsylvania and Rockbridge.

In four of the six crashes, involved individuals were not wearing seat belts. Three of those unsecured individuals were ejected, according to Virginia State Police.

“This decrease in the Memorial Day weekend traffic fatalities and the slowing of traffic deaths for 2018 are both proof that we can save lives on Virginia’s highways by working together,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The Virginia State Police, in collaboration with our local police and sheriff’s offices, will continue our stepped-up education and enforcement efforts as we head into the busy summer travel months.”

Settle encouraged Virginians to buckle up, comply with the speed limit, and drive distraction free.

With an increase presence on the highways this past weekend, troopers arrested 99 impaired drivers and charged them with a DUI. Troopers also cited 8,004 speeders and 2,360 reckless drivers.

Troopers cited more than 1,000 individuals for seat-belt violations, with 210 issued to adults for failing to safely secure a juvenile passenger in a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign continues its two-week initiative through Sunday, June 3, 2018.

Of the 843 total traffic deaths in 2017 throughout Virginia, 351 were unrestrained.