PENDLETON COUNTY, WV (WHSV) -- State police are partnering to help save lives through a nationwide campaign to reduce highway deaths by 15 percent. Virginia and West Virginia State Police officers say there have been four fatalities on Route 33 West in this year alone.
They'll be beefing up patrols for Memorial Day weekend west of Harrisonburg and into Pendleton County. Officers say it's tempting for people, especially teens, to speed through the George Washington National Forest.
Officers say they will pull people over for seat belt violations, speeding and distracted driving. They are using Click It or Ticket funds for extra patrols along the road through the holiday weekend.
Another issue is motorcycle racing because of the curves. Officers say there was a recent motorcycle fatality on Shenandoah Mountain.
"Folks are rounding the curves too fast. Faster than the curves will handle," said First Sgt. Frank Pyanoe.
Other drivers, including tractor trailer drivers, just aren't familiar with the area.
"The drivers that do become fatal accidents, this is their first time across this route and they're not paying attention to the signs, they're not staying geared down, they're overusing their brakes," said Sgt. A. D. Teter.
More than 33,000 highway deaths happen nationally each year. The Drive to Save Lives campaign is a yearlong effort. If you're traveling this weekend, officers say don't drink and drive and be careful.
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