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Police: 11 lives lost over Labor Day weekend in Virginia, 5 from 3 motorcycle crashes

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RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- Over Labor Day weekend, there were 11 traffic deaths with five of those as a result from three motorcycle accidents.

Virginia State Police report that the preliminary number of total traffic deaths for Virginia in 2019 is quickly catching up to the 2018 to-date total. As of September 1, there have been a reported 510 traffic fatalities statewide, compared to 520 fatalities to 2018 on this date.

“Despite our enforcement and outreach efforts in advance of the Labor Day weekend, Virginia still had 11 men and women killed in traffic crashes on our highways,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Speed and alcohol were common factors in many of the holiday fatal crashes, which pushed us over 500 traffic deaths for the year so far. At what point have Virginians had enough of men, women, teens and children dying on our highways? All we ask is for Virginians to make responsible driving practices and habits an every-day priority. Please make that commitment today, so we can save more lives than lose them in these final months of 2019.”

During the four-day holiday, statistical counting period, 11 men and women were killed in nine traffic crashes across Virginia. The traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Franklin, Goochland, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania and Wise. Prince William County had two separate fatal crashes occur over the Labor Day weekend. Prince William and Franklin counties each had one traffic crash that resulted in two deaths. State police investigated a total 684 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.

Motorcycles were involved in three of the nine fatal traffic crashes. Both of the Prince William County fatal crashes involved motorcycles, with one claiming the lives of the motorcycle’s operator and passenger. The Franklin County crash also involved a motorcycle, with the operator and passenger being killed in the crash.

Both state police and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provide extensive training for motorcycle enthusiasts. On Sept. 21 in Wytheville and Salem, Virginia State Police will be offering its “Ride 2 Save Lives” Motorcycle Assessment Courses free of charge. Simply sign up through the Virginia State Police Facebook page. Information on DMV’s Virginia Rider Training Program Courses is available.

The Virginia State Police participated in two annual, traffic-safety enforcement programs over the 2019 Labor Day weekend: Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) and Checkpoint Strikeforce. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program began Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at 12:01 a.m., and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 2, 2019.

As a result of state police traffic safety enforcement efforts during the 2019 statistical counting period, Virginia troopers:

Stopped 7,279 speeders

Stopped 2,283 reckless drivers

Arrested 76 drivers for DUI/DUID

Cited 723 seat belt violations

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Assisted 2,148 disabled/stranded motorists

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