Juveniles Account for Four Lives Lost
RICHMOND, Va. – Even with a reduction in fatal traffic crashes compared to the 2021 Labor Day holiday weekend, there was still an alarming number of deaths among young people and pedestrians. Of the six traffic deaths reported for the holiday weekend to date: four involved juveniles; two were pedestrians; and three were not wearing a seatbelt. During the 2021 Labor Day weekend, there were a total of 10 traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways.
“While the reduction in traffic deaths is encouraging, six families still lost loved ones this past weekend,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Four of those tragically lost were young people with a full life ahead of them, and two of those children were not wearing a seatbelt or safely secured in a child safety restraint. I implore all Virginians to wear their seatbelts and require all those riding with you to do the same.”
During the 2022 four-day holiday statistical counting period, the six fatal traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Hanover, Henry, Pittsylvania, Shenandoah and Sussex, along with the city of Norfolk. The two pedestrians killed were a 7-year-old female and an 85-year-old male. The two juveniles not wearing seatbelts were a 17-year-old female and a 6-year-old male. The fourth juvenile traffic death was an 11-year-old female passenger. State police investigated a total 772 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.
The Virginia State Police participated in two annual, traffic-safety enforcement programs over the 2022 Labor Day weekend: Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, the anti-DUI enforcement and education program sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program began Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, at 12:01 a.m., and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 5, 2022.
As a result of state police traffic safety enforcement efforts during the 2022 statistical counting period, Virginia troopers:
- Stopped 4,094 speeders
- Stopped 1,807 reckless drivers
- Arrested 87 drivers for DUI/DUID
- Cited 435 seat belt violations
- Assisted 818 disabled/stranded motorists
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.