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Va. State Police to be all over and out in force this weekend enforcing traffic safety laws

Labor Day weekend may traditionally signal an end to the summer season, but it does not mean an end to the need for Virginia residents to still make traffic safety a priority.

If planning one last summer getaway or just traveling across town, it is imperative for motorists to share the road responsibly, buckle up, and drive sober during the extended holiday weekend.
On Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, Virginia State Police Superintendent, Colonel Gary T. Settle, joined Governor Glenn Youngkin for the statewide kickoff of the 22nd annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement and education campaign, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). The annual impaired driving prevention effort began Aug. 16, 2023, and continues through this Labor Day holiday weekend. 

“Traffic safety is a huge part of the Virginia State Police mission, with a core focus on reducing alcohol-related crashes occurring on Virginia’s roadways,” said Settle. “Virginians statewide can expect to see an increased presence of law enforcement on the road through the Labor Day weekend, as state troopers seek to apprehend impaired drivers through DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.”

During the 2022 Labor Day weekend, Virginia State Police arrested 87 impaired drivers statewide. Deterring and detecting drunk drivers is one of the three focal points of the annual Operation CARE – the Crash Awareness Reduction Effort – traffic safety program that state police participates in every Labor Day weekend. The nationwide, state-sponsored initiative also aims to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by speeding and a failure to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in Operation CARE begins Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, at 12:01 a.m. and continues through midnight Monday, Sept. 4, 2023.

During Operation CARE over the 2022 Labor Day weekend, Virginia State Police stopped 4,091 speeders and 1,800 reckless drivers. State troopers also cited 434 seat belt violations and assisted 818 disabled/stranded motorists. 

A total of 12 individuals died in traffic crashes in Virginia during the 2022 Labor Day four-day statistical counting period, compared to 10 deaths in 2021 and 20 deaths in 2020*. 

With the increased 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. Drivers are required to cautiously pass an emergency vehicle when unable to safely move over a lane. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights and, as of July 1, 2023, any disabled vehicles stopped on the side of a roadway with its hazards flashing or other traffic safety protection materials placed on display.

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