Last year, seven people lost their lives on Virginia's roadways during the Fourth of July weekend, according to Virginia State Police. It is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes, according to VSP.
“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. W. Steven Flaherty, VSP superintendent. “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 Flaherty. “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
- 2,646 reckless drivers being cited
- 1,053 individuals being charged for failing to buckle up
- 335 child safety violations
- 807 traffic crashes
- seven were fatalities (in 2012, 10 people were killed in traffic crashes during the same holiday).