Police increasing patrols over Fourth of July

Police increasing patrols over Fourth of July
Virginia State Police will be increasing their patrols over the Fourth of July holiday celebrations. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia State Police will be increasing their patrols over the Fourth of July holiday celebrations.

Increased patrols will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday and run through midnight on Friday, July 5.

The initiative is part of VSP’s Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities. Operation C.A.R.E. care is a state-sponsored, national program aimed at increasing driving safety.

“Virginia may have experienced fewer alcohol-related crashes in 2018, but those fewer crashes proved more dangerous and deadlier,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Last year in Virginia, alcohol-related fatalities increased by 12.1% in comparison to 2017. Thirty more people died and 45 more people were injured in traffic crashes due to alcohol on Virginia’s highways in 2018. That translates to 278 deaths and 4,475 injuries because of someone’s reckless decision to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.”

Over the past two Independence Days, troopers arrested 42 drunk drivers along with issuing thousands of citations for speeding, reckless driving, child seat violations and not using a seat belt.

VSP also partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to launch a series of Public Service Announcements to remind drivers that drunk driving kills.

If you are planning on drinking over the holiday, make sure you have a designated driver, rideshare or utilize public transportation to get home. Hosts are also urged not to let guest drink and drive after a party.

With increased patrols, police are reminding drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law. The law “requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.”

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