Traffic deaths down for holiday weekend

Published 11:04 am Wednesday, July 10, 2013

COURTLAND—Seven fatal crashes occurred this weekend across Virginia, while there were no fatalities in Southampton County. Last year, 10 motorists across the commonwealth lost their lives.

However, this year in Southampton County there were 11 accidents and one of them resulted in an injury. A motorcyclist in the county was involved in a single-vehicle accident and was transported to Norfolk General Hospital.

The other accidents in Southampton County were relatively minor, including “fender benders” in parking lots, said Maj. Gene Drewery, spokesman for the county sheriff’s office.

Across the state, there were 795 traffic crashes from July 4-7, according to a release from the Virginia State Police. Police stopped 10,454 speeding motorists. A total of 2,524 reckless drivers were cited, and 93 intoxicated drivers were removed from the roadways. There were 1,044 adults cited for failing to buckle their safety belt, and 334 adults were cited for failing to properly secure their infant or child.

“We don’t want people to drink and drive,” said Drewery. “Wear your seatbelt, pay attention and don’t be distracted when driving on a holiday weekend.”

Across the commonwealth, troopers were cracking down on motorists as part of the national Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort.

The National Safety Council dubs the Independence Day weekend the most dangerous holiday of the year. Alcohol, fireworks and driving can be a combination for disaster, according to the council.

“With summer in full swing, state police cannot emphasize enough the importance of safe driving – no matter what kind of vehicle one is operating,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent, in a release.

“Commercial, passenger and motorcycle traffic must mutually share the road with one another. Patience, driving distraction-free and complying with posted speed limits are imperative to the safety of every adult and child riding on our roads.”