Traffic deaths down as VA police cited over 9,000 for Thanksgiving weekend

Published: Nov. 28, 2016 at 10:29 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia State Police are reporting that traffic deaths were down this year compared to the Thanksgiving holiday for the last two years.

Police say seven people died in crashes statewide this year. Last year, nine people died over the holiday weekend, and eight died in 2014.

During the holiday weekend, police say troopers cited 9,594 speeders, 2,812 reckless drivers, 597 safety belt violations and 206 child restraint violations. They arrested 137 drunken drivers.

They also investigated 1,131 traffic crashes and assisted 3,925 disabled or stranded motorists.

"As we transition into the winter holidays, Virginia State Police troopers will continue our heightened patrol presence across the Commonwealth for the safety of all motorists," said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "We are asking for Virginians to do their part, too, by always buckling up, obeying speed limits, driving alcohol and drug free, sharing the road, and not driving distracted. By working together, we can save countless lives on Virginia's highways this holiday season."

Virginia State Police say they will continue to participate in Checkpoint Strikeforce during December, "a research-based, multi-state, zero-tolerance initiative designed to get impaired drivers off our roads using checkpoints and patrols."

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