RICHMOND – A twelve-year old female is one of ten individuals killed on Virginia’s roads this holiday weekend.
The Labor Day Holiday saw a slight increase in the number of fatalities compared to the 2013 holiday weekend but fatalities overall are on the decline compared to the same time period in 2013. Preliminary numbers indicate ten individuals died in eight traffic crashes over the 2014 holiday. The victims range in age from 12 to 81 years of age. Last year, nine people were killed in traffic crashes during the four-day statistical counting period.*
“Ten traffic fatalities is ten too many. Unfortunately, to see such loss of life on our roads is discouraging as we had hoped to see the number of fatal crashes drop and not increase,” says Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “If anything, this shows the need to continue with high visible traffic enforcement efforts and urge drivers and passengers to do their part and remain vigilant by making safe driving practices their first priority – now and always.”
A fatal crash in Accomack County claimed three lives, to include a twelve-year old passenger who was not wearing a seat belt. A 17 year-old male driver also lost his life in a crash in Roanoke County. Of the remaining six motor vehicle crashes, three drivers were not wearing a seat belt. The crashes occurred in the following counties of Chesterfield, Henry, King George, Prince George, Rockbridge and Rockingham. Six of the eight fatal crashes occurred on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.
Alcohol was a factor in at least two of the fatal crashes. The 2014 Labor Day statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.
In addition to investigating more than 600 traffic crashes across the state of Virginia, troopers also cited 11,853 speeders and 3,481 reckless drivers. Placed under arrest by state police were 109 drunken drivers. Troopers also issued 916 safety belt violations and 310 child safety seat violations.
Funds generated from summonses issued by state police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.
Throughout the Labor Day weekend, Virginia State police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). The annual, traffic enforcement campaign aimed at reducing crashes, fatalities, and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failure to use occupant restraints is a state-sponsored, national program. As a participating agency, Virginia State Police increases visibility and traffic enforcement efforts as part of the safe driving campaign.
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