Va. State Police cite 6,800 violations on interstates in 2 days

Press release from Virginia State Police

RICHMOND, VA - Even with three of Virginia's major interstate corridors saturated with Virginia State Police personnel over the weekend, thousands of motorists still refused to comply with state traffic laws. The two-day traffic safety initiative, Operation Air, Land & Speed, on Interstates 95, 81 and 64 resulted in a total 3,590 speeders and another 897 reckless drivers being stopped; 18 drunk drivers being arrested; and 17 drug and felony arrests. A total of 251 seatbelt violations were also cited by state police.

Saturday, July 16, through Sunday, July 17, 2011, troopers conducted roaming patrols and stationary radar along nearly all 300 miles of I-64. The enforcement effort also targeted all 177 miles of I-95 from border to border; and all 325 miles of I-81 from border to border.

The following is a breakdown of citations and arrests per interstate:

Interstate 81
Speeding 1,332
Reckless Driving 288
No Seatbelt 76 
Drug/Felony Arrests   5

Interstate 95
Speeding 1,354
Reckless Driving 374
No Seatbelt 95 
Drug/Felony Arrests   2

Interstate 64
Speeding 904
Reckless Driving 235
No Seatbelt 80 
Drug/Felony Arrests   10

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.

"The purpose of this enforcement operation is to encourage drivers to make safety a priority when driving on Virginia's interstates," said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "To have this many motorists willing to break the law, despite a heightened presence of troopers on patrol, puts too many lives at risk. Every year the Commonwealth loses hundreds of adults, teenagers and children to traffic crashes because of speed, alcohol, aggressive driving and a failure to buckle up. There remains a serious need for motorists to make smart, safe, responsible choices when sharing the road with others."

The comprehensive enforcement project utilizes troopers, supervisors and motor carrier troopers. State police operational duties on other interstates, primary and secondary roads are not affected during the operation. Funding for the enforcement initiative is provided through federal highway safety monies.

Operation Air, Land & Speed was initiated in 2006 and strictly concentrates on interstate corridors across Virginia. Since its inception, the traffic safety enforcement campaign has resulted in a total of 178,766 traffic summonses and arrests.