RICHMOND – With Virginia having moved into Phase Three of Governor Northam’s COVID-19 guidelines, the Virginia State Police is encouraging everyone to plan ahead for their celebratory travel plans this coming holiday weekend.
“Summer days are filled with celebration, including vacations, outdoor festivals and backyard cookouts, but no matter where your plans take you, please make safety your priority,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Regardless of the distance you’re traveling this week – across the country or around the corner – remember to buckle up, eliminate distractions and never drive buzzed or drunk. If we all do our small part, we increase everyone’s chances of having a safer holiday weekend.”
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways during the coming holiday weekend, Virginia State Police will increase patrols from 12:01 a.m. Friday (July 3, 2020) through midnight Sunday (July 5, 2020) as part of the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). Operation C.A.R.E. 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.
During last year’s three-day Independence Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 79 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 5,517 speeders and 1,774 reckless drivers, issued 742 individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the three-day July 4, 2019 holiday counting period, there were seven traffic deaths on Virginia highways.
If planning to drink alcohol at a July 4 function, plan ahead and arrange a designated driver, use a rideshare service or taxi, or utilize public transportation to be certain you get home safely. Party hosts are encouraged to serve non-alcoholic beverage options, and to help prevent any guests from drinking and driving home from their event.
With increased holiday patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.