Drop in deaths on Virginia's highways over Labor Day

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's highways proved to be considerably safer over the 2010 Labor Day weekend than in 2009, according to a release from the Virginia State Police.

Last year over the holiday weekend 14 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in Virginia. From 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, through midnight Monday, Sept. 6, preliminary reports indicate eight people died in six traffic crashes statewide. Troopers responded to a total of 378 traffic crashes; 141 fewer than the 2009 Labor Day holiday weekend.

There were also fewer drunk driving arrests on Virginia's highways by state police during this past holiday weekend. In 2009, 164 impaired drivers were stopped and placed under arrest. This Labor Day weekend, state police took 132 drunk drivers off the Commonwealth's roads.

Despite the decrease in DUI arrests by state police over the weekend, at least two of the six fatal holiday traffic crashes were alcohol related.

Two of the fatal traffic crashes occurred in Warren County, with one crash claiming the lives of three Purcellville residents. A motorcyclist was killed in Prince Edward County. The remaining holiday traffic deaths occurred in the counties of Bedford, Highland and Washington.

Virginia State Police Labor Day enforcement efforts also resulted in 8,836 speeders and 2,420 reckless drivers being stopped and ticketed. Troopers also cited 898 safety belt violations and 318 child safety seat violations.

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