Sunday, January 23, 2022

2021 Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Crashes Claimed 14 Lives in Commonwealth

(Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels)

STATEWIDE — According to a press release issued by the Virginia State Police (VSP), there were fourteen deaths statewide during the four-day statistical reporting period of Memorial Day weekend which were caused by traffic crashes.

The fatalities occurred in the cities of Virginia Beach and Richmond, and the counties of Albemarle, Amherst, Botetourt, Bedford, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Fairfax, Northampton,  Prince George, and Tazewell.

The deaths involved two who were riding motorcycles and eight who were not wearing their seatbelts. The cause of deaths were not released for the remaining four individuals.

“I understand that most Virginians have been driving less in the past year. They may be feeling a bit green in the driver seat and their patience may be a bit short,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, VSP superintendent. “But the rules of the road haven’t changed and safety on the roadways should be a paramount concern to everyone.”

The number of fatalities nearly doubled from the statistics reported in 2020. During Memorial Day weekend of last year, there were eight deaths reported as a result of traffic crashes on Virginia highways.

This year, VSP launched a Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative which fell within its annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. During this initiative, which ran from May 24 at 12:01 a.m. to May 31 at 11:59 p.m., VSP troopers cited 5,553 speeders and 1,818 reckless drivers. Additionally, there were 79 arrested for impaired driving. Also, there were 740 individuals who were cited for seatbelt violations and 281 felony arrests made. Lastly, troopers assisted with 2,302 disabled motorists.

The funds that are taken in by the summonses issued by VSP go towards paying court fees as well as the state’s Literary Fund, which helps with public school construction, technology funding as well as helps pay for teacher retirements.

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