2023 Labor Day weekend proves deadly for motorcyclists on Virginia highway

Virginia State PoliceTraffic Crashes Claim 13 Lives Statewide 

RICHMOND – Thirteen individuals died in 10 traffic crashes over the 2023 Labor Day holiday weekend in Virginia, according to preliminary reports. Half of the traffic crashes involved motorcycles, in which seven motorcycle operators and passengers lost their lives. A total of 12 individuals died in traffic crashes during the 2022 Labor Day four-day statistical counting period, compared to 10 deaths in 2021*. The 2023 Labor Day statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 4, 2023. 

The 10 fatal traffic crashes occurred in the City of Virginia Beach and Campbell, Hanover, James City, Montgomery, Nelson, Pittsylvania, Rockbridge, Scott and Wythe counties. The crashes in Campbell, Pittsylvania and Scott County each involved two fatalities. The fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in Virginia Beach and Hanover, Nelson, Scott and Wythe counties.  

“To have lost this many lives to traffic crashes, especially motorcycle riders, in just four days is both disheartening and alarming,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As demonstrated by the enforcement statistics from the holiday weekend, Virginia’s state troopers were on patrol doing everything we could to prevent crashes and encourage compliance with Virginia traffic laws. As we look to these final months of 2023, I cannot impress enough the importance for all Virginians to take traffic safety seriously and commit to saving lives on our highways.” 

Colonel Settle also encourages Virginians to take advantage of the free motorcycle assessment courses being offered in the coming weeks by Virginia State Police Motorcycle Troopers. Registration is currently open for Ride 2 Save Lives training courses being held in Yorktown, Wytheville, Richmond, Manassas, Salem, and Virginia Beach between now and October. For more information and to register online, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/o/virginia-state-police-16981406541.  


During the four-day statistical counting period for the 2023 Labor Day weekend, Virginia State Police participated in both the annual Operation C.A.R.E. – the Crash Awareness Reduction Effort – as well as the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI prevention campaign. State police enforcement efforts resulted in 73 DUI arrests, as well as 279 drivers being cited for violating Virginia’s “hands free law.” Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored initiative that aims to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by speeding and a failure to use occupant restraints. 

In addition, Virginia State Police stopped 4,475 speeders and 1,945 reckless drivers. State troopers also cited 491 seat belt violations and 150 child restraint violations.  

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.