RICHMOND – With Memorial Day weekend traffic on Virginia roadways expected to be close to 2019 numbers, being patient and alert are crucial for the safety of everyone on the road. Virginia State Police (VSP) is encouraging motorists to slow down, ditch distractions, buckle up and enjoy the holiday safely.
“Virginians need to make traffic safety a priority every day, and with a large number of travelers expected on the road this Memorial Day weekend, as traffic increases so should their vigilance and patience,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Memorial Day weekend is filled with celebrations, vacations, outdoor festivals and backyard cookouts, which is why we need all drivers to comply with posted speed limits, be patient and alert, buckle up, and never drive buzzed or drunk.”
Beginning Friday, May 27, 2022, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for 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 failure to wear a seat belt. The 2022 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 27 and continues through midnight Monday, May 30, 2022. All available state police troopers and supervisors will be on patrol through the holiday weekend to help keep traffic moving safely and responsibly.
This year, the Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative falls within the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. This helps to further emphasize the lifesaving value of seat belts for every person in a vehicle.
During the 2021 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative, 15 people lost their lives in traffic crashes on Virginia roadways. During the combined Memorial Day C.A.R.E. initiative and the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which ran from 12:01 a.m. May 24 through midnight May 31, Virginia troopers cited 5,553 speeders and 1,818 reckless drivers, and arrested 79 impaired drivers. In addition, 740 individuals were cited for seat belt violations and 281 felony arrests were made. Virginia State Police also assisted 2,302 disabled motorists.
With the increased patrols, VSP also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.