Traffic: Six killed over July 4th holiday

7 12 VSP Speeding 137 Summons FFX Co on I495
The summons referenced in Colonel Settle’s quote.  (Virginia State Police)
RICHMOND – Preliminary data indicates six individuals lost their lives in six traffic crashes during the five-day statistical counting period designated for the July 4, 2024, holiday. Of those who died, one was a pedestrian struck in a hit-and-run crash, four were drivers and one was a passenger. The fatal crashes took place in the City of Richmond and the counties of Bedford, Charles City, Henrico and Wythe counties. Two of the fatal crashes occurred in Bedford County. During the two-day statistical counting period for July 4, 2023, traffic crashes claimed seven lives on Virginia’s highways.*
To do its part to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways during the holiday, State Police participated in Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). Operation CARE 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. The statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, 2024, and concluded at midnight Sunday, July 7, 2024.
“Excessive speeding, drivers and passengers failing to buckle up and distracted driving continue to put too many at risk traveling on our highways,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “On July 4th in the middle of the afternoon on I-495 in Northern Virginia, Trooper J.T. Pappas stopped a driver for doing 137 mph in a posted 65 mph zone. A few days before that a motorist was cited for driving 125 mph on I-64 in Rockbridge County. Virginia highways are no place for triple-digit speeds. To save lives on our roads, Virginians must put forth the extra effort and comply with posted speed limits.”
During the 2024 Operation CARE initiative for the July 4 holiday, Virginia cited 4,044 speeders and 1,868 reckless drivers. Troopers arrested 95 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs (DUI/DUID). They also issued 574 citations to individuals for failing to buckle up, and another 191 citations for children not being properly secured in a vehicle. Virginia troopers cited 423 drivers for being in violation of Virginia’s “hands free” law.
State police investigated 1,027 total traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,011 disabled/stranded motorists during the July 4 statistical counting period.
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.
*2023 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts,” Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office