- Last Updated on 07:58 AM 05/16/14
- BY The Gazette-Virginian
From Charlottesville to North Carolina, state troopers, police officers and sheriff’s deputies joined forces as part of the nationwide Drive to Save Lives ongoing traffic safety campaign. On Tuesday, those traveling within the 15 counties and six cities encompassing the Virginia State Police Appomattox Division encountered a heightened presence of law enforcement on major highways and secondary routes at DUI checkpoints and through roving patrols.
The 12-hour traffic safety enforcement operation yielded a total 688 summonses and arrests. Troopers, deputies and officers stopped 225 speeders and cited 48 seatbelt violators. Another 15 child safety seat violations were cited and 92 equipment violations. There was one DUI arrest. There was not one fatal traffic crash to occur May 13 within the 15 counties and six cities that encompass the state police Appomattox Division.
Traditionally, May leads the year with having the most fatal traffic crashes than any other month. According to the DMV Virginia Traffic Crash Facts report, May of 2012 proved to be the deadliest month for Virginia’s highways with 74 fatal traffic crashes claiming 79 lives. The month also led the year having with the most traffic crashes resulting in injuries – 4,080. In 2011, it was the second deadliest month of the year with 66 fatal traffic crashes claiming 74 lives.
Tuesday’s operation aimed to reduce crashes and save more lives through the stepped enforcement and presence by Virginia State Police, Lynchburg Police Department, and the Augusta, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Greene, Halifax, Mecklenburg, and Prince Edward County sheriff’s offices. The traffic safety campaign even carried over into North Carolina with participation of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Granville County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office.
Additional state police enforcement activity took place in the counties of Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Campbell, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Nelson; as well as the cities of Charlottesville, Farmville, South Boston and South Hill.
“This concentrated traffic safety operation is not just a one-day event,” said Capt. Paul Kvasnicka, Virginia State Police Appomattox Division Commander. “State police will continue to partner with local police and sheriffs throughout the coming days and weeks to duplicate these stepped-up enforcement efforts. So, motorists beware if you make the reckless and deadly decision to speed, fail to buckle up, drive distracted, or drive impaired. We are out there on patrol and will do what we have to in order to ensure the safety our highways.”
The Drive to Save Lives Campaign is a united effort by state police and highway patrol leaders nationwide to reduce highway fatalities by 15 percent in 2014. More than 33,000 deaths occur each year on the nation’s roadways. Highway fatalities rank as one of the top 12 causes of death in the United States and it is the leading cause of death among teens. This is unacceptable because most crashes are preventable. To achieve a 15 percent reduction in the Commonwealth, there needs to be 111 fewer traffic deaths on Virginia’s highways in 2014.