RICHMOND, Va. – During the July 4 holiday weekend, 10 people's lives were claimed to crashes on Virginia's highways.
State Police say Virginia is experiencing a disturbing trend on its roads – increased traffic crash fatalities. Based on last weekend's fatalities, the state is on pace to have another increase in 2021.
According to preliminary reports, 10 people died in traffic crashes on Virginia highways during the July 4 holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 2, and concluded at midnight July 5.
The 10 fatal crashes took place in the counties of Botetourt, Campbell, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Mecklenburg, Patrick and Stafford, and the City of Newport News.
Four of the crashes involved motorcycles and a fifth was an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The fatal motorcycle crashes took place in the counties of Botetourt, Essex, Fairfax and Stafford. The Patrick County crash involved the ATV.
From the beginning of 2021 through July 7, 399 lives have been lost to traffic crashes in Virginia, compared to 395 during the same time period in 2020.
“Virginia State Police substantially increased our presence on Virginia roadways this past weekend, and yet, we still have people flaunting the safety of others on the road by driving at excessive speeds and under the influence,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We are at the height of the summer travel season, which is why we need every Virginian committed to being a safe, responsible driver. Please put as much attention into driving, buckling up and complying with speed limits as you do with planning your summer getaway. You and Virginia’s safety depend on it.”
During the holiday weekend, troopers arrested 61 drunk drivers, cited 4,025 speeders and 1,434 reckless drivers, and issued 510 citations to those who were not wearing a seat belt. State Police also responded to a total 669 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,550 disabled/stranded motorists.
Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.