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ArlingtonPublic SafetyState Police urge caution as holiday travel ramps up

State Police urge caution as holiday travel ramps up

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The American Automobile Association predicts that 1.4 million Virginians will travel for this Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, which equates to 11 percent more motorists than in 2020. Virginia State Police urge patience for motorists planning to hit the roadways.

“With traffic on the roads increasing and many people anxious to get to their destination, I encourage all Virginians to be patient. Buckle up and take your time,” said Col. Gary Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent.

“Your family wants you to arrive safely and in a frame of mind to enjoy all the holiday has to offer,” Settle said. “Making sure you are driving the posted speed limit, driving for conditions and wearing your seat belt are the best ways to stay safe on the road, so you can enjoy the holiday.”

To prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, Virginia State Police once again will be participating in Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort). As part of the state-sponsored, national program, state police will be increasing their visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period that begins Nov. 24 at 12:01 a.m. and ends at midnight on Nov. 28.

Troopers during the 2020 Thanksgiving Operation CARE initiative cited 4,930 speeders and 1,706 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers charged 67 drivers for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs, and cited 498 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.

There were 12 traffic fatalities during the 2020 five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period and eight traffic fatalities during the same period in 2019.

This year, the Thanksgiving Holiday CARE initiative falls within the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which further emphasizes the lifesaving value of seat belts for every person in a vehicle.

With increased patrols, state police also remind drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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