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Holiday traffic deaths show improvement

RICHMOND – Although the Independence Day holiday was officially one day shorter this year than in 2008, just as many people died on Virginia roads, according to police.
Virginia State Police report that the three-day holiday was a busy one for the department statewide.
Of the 562 traffic crashes state police responded to during the three-day statistical counting period, preliminary reports indicate that nine of the crashes resulted in 10 deaths. In 2008, 10 people were killed over a four-day holiday weekend, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Traffic Crash Facts report.
Only one of the fatal crashes was reported in the New River Valley area.
State Police report the nine fatal crashes, seven involving passenger vehicles, occurred in the City of Norfolk and the counties of Accomack, Buchanan, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Henrico, Montgomery, Prince George and Rockingham. Five of the nine crashes occurred on Friday, July 3.
The fatal crash in Norfolk claimed two lives, while the Henrico County fatality involved a bicycle and the Chesterfield County fatality involved a motorcycle, in which the rider was wearing a helmet.
Of the eight people killed in passenger vehicle crashes, seven were not wearing safety belts.
State Police say alcohol was a factor in four of the fatal crashes.
The 2009 Independence Day statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday and concluded at midnight Sunday.
“We had hoped to continue the declining trend in traffic fatalities during this past holiday weekend,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. “Unfortunately, a lack of seat belts and alcohol were common factors in the nine traffic crashes investigated statewide. Now that we are well into the summer travel season, motorists must make safe and sober choices when behind the wheel.”
In addition to responding to and investigating more than 500 traffic crashes statewide, Virginia State Police also cited 7,390 speeders and 2,140 reckless drivers. The arrested 129 drunken drivers, and wrote 675 safety belt violations and 274 child safety seat violations.
During the holiday weekend, 75 percent of Virginia State Police’s uniformed workforce was working and participating in the annual Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). The state-sponsored, national program emphasizes safe driving through the reduction of traffic injuries and fatalities, occupant restraint safety and impaired driving prevention.

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Holiday traffic deaths show improvement

RICHMOND – Although the Independence Day holiday was officially one day shorter this year than in 2008, just as many people died on Virginia roads, according to police.
Virginia State Police report that the three-day holiday was a busy one for the department statewide.
Of the 562 traffic crashes state police responded to during the three-day statistical counting period, preliminary reports indicate that nine of the crashes resulted in 10 deaths. In 2008, 10 people were killed over a four-day holiday weekend, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Traffic Crash Facts report.
Only one of the fatal crashes was reported in the New River Valley area.
State Police report the nine fatal crashes, seven involving passenger vehicles, occurred in the City of Norfolk and the counties of Accomack, Buchanan, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Henrico, Montgomery, Prince George and Rockingham. Five of the nine crashes occurred on Friday, July 3.
The fatal crash in Norfolk claimed two lives, while the Henrico County fatality involved a bicycle and the Chesterfield County fatality involved a motorcycle, in which the rider was wearing a helmet.
Of the eight people killed in passenger vehicle crashes, seven were not wearing safety belts.
State Police say alcohol was a factor in four of the fatal crashes.
The 2009 Independence Day statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday and concluded at midnight Sunday.
“We had hoped to continue the declining trend in traffic fatalities during this past holiday weekend,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. “Unfortunately, a lack of seat belts and alcohol were common factors in the nine traffic crashes investigated statewide. Now that we are well into the summer travel season, motorists must make safe and sober choices when behind the wheel.”
In addition to responding to and investigating more than 500 traffic crashes statewide, Virginia State Police also cited 7,390 speeders and 2,140 reckless drivers. The arrested 129 drunken drivers, and wrote 675 safety belt violations and 274 child safety seat violations.
During the holiday weekend, 75 percent of Virginia State Police’s uniformed workforce was working and participating in the annual Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). The state-sponsored, national program emphasizes safe driving through the reduction of traffic injuries and fatalities, occupant restraint safety and impaired driving prevention.

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