VSP: 2020 Independence Day holiday traffic crashes claim nine lives

Virginia State Police (FILE)
Virginia State Police (FILE)
Updated: Jul. 8, 2020 at 8:22 PM EDT
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Virginia State Police News Release:

RICHMOND – Unfortunately, thousands of drunk, speeding and reckless drivers kept Virginia State Police busy and put countless lives at risk during the 2020 July 4th holiday weekend across the commonwealth. Preliminary reports indicate nine individuals, to include a 4-year-old child, died during the holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 2, 2020 and concluded at midnight July 5, 2020. During the 2019 July 4 holiday counting period, there were seven traffic deaths on Virginia highways.

The nine fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Augusta, Bedford, Carroll, James City, Lunenburg, Prince Edward and Russell counties. The Augusta County, Arlington County and Russell County crashes involved motorcycles. The Prince Edward County crash claimed the life of a 4-year-old Charlotte County male.

“Even though state police did its part to enhance its response times and traffic safety enforcement efforts, too many motorists still put their lives and others at risk during the holiday weekend by failing to drive smart, safe or sober,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As we look towards the remainder of the summer travel season, I can’t stress enough the need for every driver and passenger, motorcyclist and bicyclist, pedestrian and commercial vehicle driver to make travel safety a priority. Sharing the road responsibly, complying with speed limits, buckling up and never driving impaired or distracted are what it takes to reduce crash-related injuries and deaths on Virginia’s highways.”

During the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort’s (C.A.R.E.) four-day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers arrested 44 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 1,537 speeders and 732 reckless drivers, and issued 126 citations to individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the holiday statistical counting period, Virginia State Police responded to a total 444 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,153 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.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.