Monday, May 27, 2013

Virginia State Police Increase Patrols for Memorial Day

Motorists who anticipate enjoying the extended time off from work by traveling on Memorial Day can expect to see an increase in Virginia State Police troopers on the road.

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 through midnight tonight, Monday, May 27.

Virginia State Police will also continue its active participation in the nationwide Click-It-or-Ticket program, through June 2. 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 the Memorial Day holiday comes to a close tonight, please remember to drive safely today -- and every day!

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