As travel increases for the holidays, the James City County Police Department is placing more officers on the roads, according to a police department news release.
The idea behind increasing police presence will encourage safer driving on the roads and deter intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel, the release said.
In giving prior notice, the department wants people to make safe arrangements if they are planning on drinking, the release said.
The increased patrols are organized in response to a study released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that found more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday from 2012 to 2016, making Thanksgiving the deadliest roadway holiday.
During Thanksgiving weekend 2015, 301 people were killed in car crashes across the nation.
According to the release, the study also showed that 53% of the fatal crashes involved riders who were not wearing seatbelts. The James City County Police Department is also participating in Virginia’s Click It or Ticket campaign until Dec. 1.
Officers will be looking for those violating the seatbelt law in order to promote safety on the roads, the release said. The penalty in Virginia for not wearing a seatbelt is a $25 fine, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
The NHTSA has also released tips for drivers to stay safe during their travels. Drivers are warned to inspect their vehicles and tires before heading out on the road. Travelers should plan ahead by checking weather conditions and traffic predictions.
Locally, James City County Police are asking drivers to buckle up and drive sober, the release said.