Labor Day weekend traffic crashes claim eight lives in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – Despite a significant decrease in fatal traffic crashes over the 2021 Labor Day holiday weekend for Virginia, there was still an alarming number of deaths among motorcyclists. Of the eight traffic deaths reported for the holiday weekend to date, four involved motorcycles and one involved a moped. During the 2020 Labor Day weekend, there were a total of 20 traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways. State police arrested 59 impaired drivers on Virginia highways during the holiday statistical counting period.

“I can only hope that the reduction in traffic deaths during the Labor Day weekend is a sign of continued reductions for the remainder of the year,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We haven’t seen holiday numbers like this since 2017. In order to further reduce and prevent traffic deaths and injuries on Virginia’s highways, we need the public’s help. The decisions are simple: drive smart, safe and sober.”

During the 2021 four-day holiday statistical counting period, the eight fatal traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Bedford, Charlotte, Hanover, Madison, Suffolk, and Wythe, along with the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. State police investigated a total of 778 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.

The Virginia State Police participated in two annual, traffic-safety enforcement programs over the 2021 Labor Day weekend: Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) and the  Checkpoint Strikeforce, 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. 3, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 6, 2021.

As a result of state police traffic safety enforcement efforts during the 2021 statistical counting period, Virginia troopers:

  • Stopped 4,602 speeders
  • Stopped 1,591 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 59 drivers for DUI/DUID
  • Cited 402 seat belt violations
  • Assisted 995 disabled/stranded motorists

The Virginia State Police free motorcycle education, training and assessment program, Ride 2 Save Lives, continues to offer courses across the state through October. For more information on Ride 2 Save Lives motorcycle assessment courses, visit:

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