RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia State Police plan to step up patrols on state highways this Fourth of July weekend.
It's part of a national effort known as Operation CARE, which stands for Combined Accident Reduction Effort. State police remind motorists to be especially careful if Tropical Storm Arthur brings inclement weather to Virginia as predicted.
Seven people were killed in traffic accidents in Virginia during the 2013 Fourth of July weekend. Troopers arrested 104 people for drunken driving and cited 11,350 motorists for speeding.
The clock starts ticking on this year's three-day holiday weekend at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
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Virginia State Police Press Release
RICHMOND – As Virginians prepare to celebrate our nation’s independence, the Virginia State Police encourages everyone to include traffic safety as an integral part of their preparations and activities.
The Fourth of July holiday weekend is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes. During the July 4th lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or more.*
“With the additional threat of heavy rains from Tropical Storm Arthur, motorists are also advised to be prepared for inclement weather conditions, as well as detours and/or delays due to possible flooding,” said Col. Flaherty. “Use extreme caution during and following any kind of severe storm. If possible, delay travel until the storm has passed by and the threat of standing water and downed trees has diminished.”
To manage the increase in holiday traffic and in relation to the pending storm, Virginia State Police will step up patrols and enforcement as part of Operation C.A.R.E. The annual, nationwide, state-sponsored program, otherwise known as the Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, concentrates on safe driving through strict traffic enforcement in an attempt to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. The 2014 statistical counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 4, 2014, and concludes at midnight Sunday, July 6, 2014.
“During the 2013 Fourth of July holiday period, Virginia troopers arrested 104 drivers for DUI because of their reckless decision to drive impaired,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Consider this your only warning. If you drink and drive, then you will be arrested and charged by a trooper. We have zero tolerance for those who irresponsibly choose to put lives at risk on Virginia’s highways.”
During last year’s Independence Day holiday, Virginia State Police’s enforcement efforts also resulted in the following: 11,350 speeders and another 2,646 reckless drivers being cited; and 1,053 individuals being charged for failing to buckle up. There were also 335 child safety violations cited by state troopers. State police investigated 807 traffic crashes during the 2013 Independence Day weekend, of which seven were fatal. In 2012, 10 people were killed in traffic crashes during the same holiday.
With state police’s stepped up enforcement efforts, drivers are also reminded of Virginia’s “Move Over” law this holiday weekend: http://www.vsp.virginia.gov/SlowDownMoveOver_VAcode.shtm.