RICHMOND, Va. – The 2021 Thanksgiving holiday season saw the lowest number of traffic deaths in Virginia in more than a decade, Virginia State Police announced.
According to the agency's preliminary data, there were four fatal traffic crashes in Virginia.
“Although even one life lost is a tragedy, this Thanksgiving has given us something to truly be thankful for,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “Patience, keeping your attention on the road and buckling up are the anecdote to the record number of traffic fatalities we have seen the past two years. This Thanksgiving, the number of people issued summons for reckless driving and seatbelts were down compared to last year, even though we know more people were on the roads. This brings home the point that if we all do our part on the road, everyone can have a safe holiday.”
During the five-day period, which began at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 24 and ended at midnight on Nov. 28, four people lost their lives to traffic crashes in Virginia. VSP say the fatal crashes happened in the counties of Albemarle, Chesterfield, Fairfax and Spotsylvania. Of those crashes, one involved a pedestrian and one was not wearing a seatbelt.
Last year around this time, there were 12 traffic fatalities during the five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period. This is also the lowest number of traffic fatalities during the counting period in more than a decade. *
In an effort to prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, Virginia State Police participated in Operation CARE - Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. Operation CARE is an annual, state-sponsored, national program during which state police increases its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period.
The 2021 Thanksgiving Holiday CARE initiative resulted in troopers citing 5,127 speeders and 1,565 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers arrested 65 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and cited 477 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.
State Police responded to 1,273 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth, with 139 of those resulting in injuries. They also helped 1,151 disabled/stranded drivers during the Thanksgiving weekend.
*Source: Virginia Highway Safety Office, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles