Virginia State Police to increase patrols for Labor Day

A passenger was also taken to the hospital. (Source: NBC12)
A passenger was also taken to the hospital. (Source: NBC12)
Updated: Aug. 30, 2018 at 6:03 PM EDT
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(WWBT) - Virginia State Police is launching Operation CARE to prevent traffic fatalities over the Labor Day weekend.

CARE stands for Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort, which means increased patrols across the state from 12:01 a.m. Aug. 31 to midnight Sept. 3.

VSP said traffic deaths are down 9 percent for 2018 from 2017, but the rate of deaths involving people who were not wearing seat belts is at the same level. Of the 493 deaths in Virginia this year, 220 of those were not wearing seat belts – 58 of those were between the ages of 21 and 30, according to VSP.

In the week leading up to the Labor Day weekend, seven people have died across the state in vehicle crashes.

VSP said 2017's CARE patrols resulted in 97 DUI arrests, more than 7,400 speeding tickets, more than 2,000 reckless driving citations, 576 seat belt violation citations and 181 citations for child safety seat violations across the state.

In the last three years, there have been 29 traffic deaths over Labor Day Weekend – five in 2017, eight in 2016 and 16 in 2015.

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