ROANOKE, Va. – Labor Day weekend is a time when many Americans can relax from their daily lives, but sometimes wrong decisions may lead to deadly consequences.
After seeing an increasing trend in fatal crashes in previous years, Virginia State Police are urging people who plan on traveling to drive safely and responsibly ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend.
Authorities want drivers to stay alert, stay sober and wear their seatbelts because of the rise in fatal crashes in the Commonwealth during Labor Day weekend over the past few years.
Last year, 17 people died in crashes during the long weekend.
In 2018, that number was 14.
In 2017, only five people died in Labor Day weekend crashes.
“It’s really quite simple ‐ seatbelts save lives, distractions are deadly on roadways and driving impaired is unacceptable,” said Superindentent Colonel Gary T. Settle. “We want you and your family to reach your destination safely and throughout Virginia, you can expect to see more state troopers conducting patrols to ensure that safety.”
State Police will participate in Operation CARE — the Crash Awareness Reduction Effort — during the whole holiday weekend from Friday through Monday.
These traffic and safety efforts are part of a nationwide program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use seatbelts.
“In a year where there have been fewer cars on the roads, this trend is disturbing,” said Settle. “Everyday State Troopers notify family members of a loved one’s death. It’s not a job we want to do and no one wants to get that knock at the door. Your safety habits can help reverse the trend and save a life.”
From Friday through Labor Day, authorities will be enforcing sobriety checkpoints to prevent any DUI-related crashes.