Virginia State Police urge patience, sobriety, focus and safety for travelers over holiday weekend

May 24, 2024
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As Summer Kicks Off on the Roads

With the 2024 Memorial Day weekend falling in the midst of graduation season, the Virginia State Police is reminding drivers of all ages to drive smart, safe and sober. In addition, AAA Mid-Atlantic is forecasting a four percent increase in Memorial Day travel, meaning Virginia’s highways will be even more crowded as people head to graduation events and holiday festivities. During the 2023 Memorial Day weekend, there were nine fatal traffic crashes statewide in Virginia.
“As of May 23, 2024, Virginia has lost 294 adults, teenagers and young children to traffic crashes in the first 144 days of this year,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police.  “This is such a busy time of year for everyone, which is why it is imperative for drivers to slow down and remember to buckle up, avoid distractions and always driver sober. I also cannot stress enough the importance of talking with your teenagers and young adult drivers about safe driving behaviors. While so many are celebrating the conclusion of the school year and looking ahead to a fun summer, there are a few hundred other Virginians, instead, mourning the loss of those 294 loved ones. Let’s make traffic safety a priority and prevent that next fatal crash from happening.”
Last year, nine people were killed in crashes over the Memorial Day Holiday statistical counting period.* Beginning Friday, May 24, 2024, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for the 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. The 2024 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 24 and continues through midnight Monday, May 27, 2024. All available state police troopers and supervisors will be on patrol through the holiday weekend to help keep traffic moving safely and responsibly.
Last Memorial Day weekend, Virginia State Troopers cited 771 people for seatbelt violations.  In addition, there were also 136 citations for child restraint violations.   During the 2023 combined Memorial Day C.A.R.E. initiative, Virginia Troopers also cited 4,990 speeders and 1,924 reckless drivers and arrested 89 impaired drivers. In addition, 169 felony arrests were made. Virginia State Police also assisted 1,447 disabled motorists. Virginia State Police investigated a total 1,846 traffic crashes statewide and inspected 634 commercial vehicles during the 2023 holiday weekend.
Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.
Virginia State Police also remind drivers of recent changes to Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which now require drivers to either move over a lane, or slow down, for any vehicle on the side of road using emergency markers, flashing lights, or flares

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