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State Police: Ten killed on Virginia highways over 4th of July weekend

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Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 3:55 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - RICHMOND – Virginia State Police say the commonwealth looks to see an increase in crashes this year over last.

Preliminary reports indicate ten people died in traffic crashes on Virginia highways during the July 4 holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 2, 2021 and concluded at midnight July 5, 2021. Four of the crashes involved motorcycles and a fifth was an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

Since Jan. 1, 2021 through July 7, 2021, preliminary reports indicate 399 people have been killed in traffic crashes in Virginia, compared to 395 during the same time period in 2020.

The ten fatal crashes tool place in the counties of Botetourt, Campbell, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Mecklenburg, Patrick and Stafford, and the City of Newport News.

“Virginia State Police substantially increased our presence on Virginia roadways this past weekend, and yet, we still have people flaunting the safety of others on the road by driving at excessive speeds and under the influence,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “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 your summer getaway. You and Virginia’s safety depend on it.”

During the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort’s (C.A.R.E.) four-day statistical counting period, police say Virginia troopers arrested 61 drunk drivers. They also cited 4,025 people for speeding and 1,434 for driving recklessly, and issued 510 citations to people for not wearing seatbelts.

During the holiday counting period, Virginia State Police responded to 669 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,550 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 seat belts, according to police.

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.

For more information from the state on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to tzdva.org.

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