RICHMOND – Unfortunately, thousands of drunk, speeding and reckless drivers kept Virginia State Police busy and put countless lives at risk during the 2019 July 4th holiday weekend across the Commonwealth. Preliminary reports indicate seven people died in six traffic crashes during the holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 3, 2019 and concluded at midnight July 5, 2019.
“Recognizing the potential for more holiday travelers and festivities with July 4th falling on a Thursday this year, we made certain to have every available trooper working Virginia’s highways during the holiday weekend,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “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.”
The six fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Highland, Loudoun, Lunenburg, Nelson, Pittsylvania and Spotsylvania. The Spotsylvania County crash on July 5 resulted in two deaths. Altogether, the crashes claimed the lives of four drivers and three passengers. Four of the deceased were not wearing seat belts.
During the Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort’s (C.A.R.E.) three-day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers arrested 79 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 5,389 speeders and 1,752 reckless drivers, issued 723 citations for individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the holiday statistical counting period, Virginia State Police responded to a total 548 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,791 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.
“We are at the height of the summer travel season, which is why we need every Virginian committed to being a safe, responsible driver. Please put as much attention into driving, buckling up and complying with speed limits as you do with planning the summer getaway. You and your family’s safety depend on it,” said Colonel Settle.