Virginia State Police upping patrol for Fourth of July travel

Local News

AAA predicts nearly 49 million Americans, the most ever projected, will travel for the Fourth of July holiday, and drivers in Southwest Virginia are going to feel the sting.

“The traffic is going to be on 81 for local people and folks passing through,” said Rick Garletts, sergeant with Virginia State Police.

“We’re going to see the majority of that and that’s where we’re going to focus. 81 itself, and 460 and 220. Roads like that.”

To help ease the projected traffic, Virginia State Police is upping patrol starting on Wednesday morning. As a part of the Operation C.A.R.E (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort), 75 percent of the trooper workforce will be on major roadways across Southwest Virginia.

AAA reports nearly 41.4 million people will hit the road, the most ever predicted. Garletts says the high volume of drivers means the increased chance for distracted driving.

“When you’re traveling, it’s safer just to put the phone down and concentrate on the roadway,” said Garletts.

“You have more vehicles out there so let’s concentrate on what we’re doing so we don’t hurt ourselves or anybody else.”

During last year’s Operation C.A.R.E, Virginia troopers cited more than 4,000 speeders and more than 100 people were cited for child seat violations.

For a reminder of new traffic laws, click here.

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