May 28, 2020

RICHMOND – The 2020 Memorial Day weekend not only netted a  reduction in overall  traffic volumes on  Virginia’s highways, but also a decrease in traffic deaths. Preliminary reports indicate eight people lost their  lives during the four‐day, holiday statistical counting period. During the same statistical counting period in  2019 and 2018, traffic crashes on Virginia highways resulted in 11 deaths.

Of the eight individuals killed this year on Virginia highways, two were riding on motorcycles and one was a  pedestrian.  The  statistical  counting  period  began  at  12:01  a.m.  Friday  (May  22)  and  ended  at  midnight  Monday  (May  25).  Virginia  State  Police  statewide  responded  to  480  total  traffic  crashes  during  this  past  holiday weekend. The  fatal  crashes  occurred  in  the  city  of  Virginia  Beach  and  the  counties  of  Caroline,  Montgomery,  Pittsylvania,  Prince  William,  Rockingham,  Southampton  and  Sussex.

The  two  fatal  motorcycle  crashes  occurred in Pittsylvania and Rockingham counties.

The pedestrian, who was pushing his bicycle when he was  struck and killed, was in Sussex County. Of the remaining five crashes, two of the victims were not wearing  seat belts.

“Even though we are thankful  for the slight decrease in traffic  fatalities over the Memorial Day weekend,  eight deaths are still too many,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “It is also  concerning  to  see  reckless  driving  citations  and  DUI  arrests  practically  on  par  with  last  year’s  holiday  weekend. Fewer drivers should have demonstrated a significant decline in the number of citations and traffic  deaths. Sadly,  that was  not  the  case and  too many motorists were  putting  too many lives at  risk  due  to  reckless choices and deadly driving behaviors.” During the weekend’s statistical counting period, Virginia troopers statewide cited 2,489 reckless drivers and  arrested  70  impaired  drivers.  During  the  2019 Memorial  Day  weekend,  state  police  cited  2,548  reckless  drivers and arrested 75 drivers for DUI. “Considering that traffic was much less than what we normally see on this particular holiday weekend, it is  very concerning  to have only  reduced  the death  toll by  three in comparison  to  the past  two years,”  said  Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “As Virginia continues to gradually  re‐open  through  the Governor’s ‘Forward  Virginia’  plan and more motorists  return  to  the  highways,  it  is  imperative that Virginians make traffic safety a priority.”


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