RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia State Police said in a news release on Wednesday that thousands of drunk, speeding, and reckless drivers kept them busy and put countless lives at risk during the 2020 July 4th weekend.
VSP said nine people died, including a 4-year-old child, during the holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 2 and ended at midnight on July 5.
In 2019, there were seven traffic deaths on Virginia highways during the holiday weekend.
The fatalities occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Augusta, Bedford, Carroll, James City, Lunenburg, Prince Edward, and Russell. Virginia State Police said Augusta County, Arlington County, and Russell County had crashes involving motorcycles.
The Prince Edward County crash claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy.
“As we look towards the remainder of the summer travel season, I can’t stress enough the need for every driver and passenger, motorcyclist and bicyclist, pedestrian and commercial vehicle driver to make travel safety a priority. Sharing the road responsibly, complying with speed limits, buckling up and never driving impaired or distracted are what it takes to reduce crash-related injuries and deaths on Virginia’s highways, ” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent.
During the VSP Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) — a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities, and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt — Virginia troopers arrested 44 drunk drivers.
State troopers also cited 1,537 speeders and 732 reckless drivers. 126 citations were issued to individuals for failing to obey the law and wear a seat belt, VSP says.
Virginia State Police responded to a total of 444 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,153 disabled or stranded motorists.
For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.
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