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Virginia State Police to Increase Patrols for Memorial Day - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Virginia State Police to Increase Patrols for Memorial Day Weekend

Posted: Updated:

Virginia State Police
Press Release

RICHMOND, Va. – Motorists, who anticipate enjoying the extended time off from work by traveling around the Commonwealth during the holiday weekend, can expect to see an increase in Virginia State Police troopers on the road with them. The additional patrols statewide are part of the annual Operation C.A.R.E., (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries associated with speed, failure to wear seatbelts and impaired driving. The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement agencies to increase its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays. As a result, state police will boost patrols around the Commonwealth beginning Friday morning, May 24, 2013, at 12:01 a.m. and continue through midnight, Monday, May 27, 2013.

Virginia State Police will also continue its active participation in the nationwide Click-It-or- Ticket program. The educational and enforcement effort runs May 20 through June 2, 2013. The statewide traffic safety initiative is a collaborative effort among law enforcement agencies intended to draw attention to improve seat belt use among adults and increase child safety seat use - with the ultimate goal of saving lives. During the 2011 May Click-It-Or-Ticket enforcement wave, Virginia State Police troopers issued 1,571 summonses for adults failing to wear safety belts and another 507 summonses for child safety restraint violations.

"By not wearing your seat belt, you are taking a gamble with your life - so why take that risk?" said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "Statistics have proven that wearing your seatbelt can help save your life or reduce your chance for injuries in a crash. It should be one of the first things you do when you get into a vehicle. Make the right choice, not just during a holiday weekend, but all year long and buckle up, watch your speed, and drive sober and distraction-free."

The 2012 Operation C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in 11,577 speeders and 2,997 reckless drivers being stopped, and 137 drunk drivers being taken off the road and arrested. State police also investigated a total of 660 traffic crashes. During the 2012 Memorial Day weekend, 11 individuals lost their lives in traffic crashes statewide – at least ten of them were unbuckled. A total of 12 died in Virginia as a result of traffic crashes over the 2011 Memorial Day weekend and 11 people were killed during the 2010 holiday weekend.

As state police increase patrols on the Commonwealth's highways for the holiday weekend, motorists should educate themselves about Virginia's Move Over law. The statewide law requires drivers to either move over a lane or, when unable to, to cautiously pass all emergency personnel stopped on the side of a road. The law also applies to emergency response vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights. For more information on the Move Over law please visit www.vsp.virginia.gov.

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