Virginia State Police increase presence during holiday travel, assist in more checkpoints

Drivers on a Lynchburg roadway Thursday.
Drivers on a Lynchburg roadway Thursday.(WDBJ)
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The holiday season across Virginia means one thing for our roadways: they’re busy.

AAA is expecting a large increase in people hitting the roads this season compared to last year.

That means folks with Virginia State Police will have more to look out for.

“We kind of had a break last year,” said Sgt. Rick Garletts with Virginia State Police. “Our troopers are working hard and they’re working more than they ever have just to make sure we maintain that safety status on the interstates and the roadways of Virginia.”

He says this time of year means they want to be seen more often by drivers.

They hope their presence alone can help keep people safe.

“We put more troopers on the road, first off, especially during the travel periods before and after the holiday. Visibility is a big thing for us. You’re gonna see more state police cars on the road just to ensure people are obeying the law,” said Garletts.

But that doesn’t just apply to patrolling the roads or running radar. That also means protecting people from drunk drivers.

They’re one of over 100 Virginia police agencies participating in Checkpoint Strikeforce. People can expect some of those checkpoints across the Roanoke area.

“You’re gonna see a larger amount of police cars out there enforcing what we can to save people’s lives,” said Garletts.

He reminds you to watch out while you’re driving.

“If you see a vehicle swerving in its lane, crossing the lines, not doing a good job maintaining control of the vehicle, don’t hesitate to call us at #77 or 911 to draw attention to that vehicle because it may save a life,” said Garletts.

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