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State Police report 17 traffic fatalities during Labor Day Weekend

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Posted at 11:01 AM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 11:01:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia State Police is reporting 17 traffic fatalities during Labor Day weekend, matching the 2019 statistics.

In 2018, there were 14 traffic fatalities, a spike from 2017 when there were five traffic fatalities.

State Police say the majority of this year's fatal crashes occurred after dark and at least five of those weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

Prior to Labor Day weekend, State Police urged all Virginians to drive safely and responsibly.

“The 2020 traffic fatality statistics continue to trend in an unacceptable direction and with 116 additional crashes with injuries over the holiday weekend, I fear that preliminary number of deaths may still increase,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “It is very possible that five of those who lost their lives could have been saved if they would have taken two seconds and secured their seatbelts. I know this year has been stressful and everyone wants to enjoy a holiday weekend, but every decision you make, both before and while you are at the wheel, can affect if you or someone else on the road makes it safely home. The decisions are simple: don’t drive impaired, don’t drive tired, don’t drive distracted, don’t speed, wear your seatbelt, pay attention and be a responsible passenger.”

The traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Augusta, Bland, Campbell, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, Isle of Wight, Stafford and Westmoreland, along with the Town of Leesburg and the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News and Roanoke. The city of Roanoke had three fatal crashes including two that involved pedestrians.

State Police investigated a total of 484 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.

VSP says during the 2020 statistical counting period, troopers have:

  • Stopped 4,550 speeders
  • Stopped 1,561 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 55 drivers for DUI/DUID
  • Cited 445 seat belt violations
  • Assisted 1,465 disabled/stranded motorists

For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” click here.