Thursday, April 18, 2024

VSP: Labor Day Weekend Proved Deadly for Motorcyclists on Virginia Highways

(WYDaily/file photo)
(WYDaily/file photo)

RICHMOND — Virginia State Police (VSP) said seven motorcycle operators and passengers lost their lives over the 2023 Labor Day holiday weekend according to preliminary reports.

VSP said 13 individuals died in 10 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth over the holiday weekend, and half of those traffic crashes involved motorcycles.

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 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.”

Settle encouraged Virginians to take advantage of 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. Riders can find more information and register online.

The 2023 Labor Day statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1 and concluded at midnight on Monday, Sept. 4. During that four-day period, 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.” 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.

VSP noted funds generated from summonses issued go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

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, according to statistics from the Highway Safety Office, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

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