Independence Day holiday traffic crashes claim 10 lives in state
RICHMOND – Virginia is experiencing a disturbing trend on its roadways – increased traffic crash fatalities – with the state on pace to have another unfortunate increase in 2021. Preliminary reports indicate 10 individuals 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 lives have been lost to traffic crashes in Virginia, compared to 395 during the same time period in 2020.
The 10 fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Botetourt, Campbell, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Mecklenburg, Patrick and Stafford and the City of Newport News. The fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in the counties of Botetourt, Essex, Fairfax and Stafford. The Patrick County crash involved the ATV.
“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, Virginia troopers arrested 61 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 4,025 speeders and 1,434 reckless drivers, and issued 510 citations to individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the holiday statistical counting period, Virginia State Police responded to a total 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 a seat belt.
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 on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.