RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Although the number of fatal crashes was down compared to last year’s Labor Day holiday, there were still a number of deaths among young people and pedestrians this 2022 season.

According to the Virginia State Police (VSP) office, there were six reported traffic deaths to date: four involving juveniles; two were pedestrians, and three were not wearing seatbelts. This is fewer than the report from 2021 Labor Day Weekend, where 10 traffic fatalities happened on Virginia highways.

“While the reduction in traffic deaths is encouraging, six families still lost loved ones this past weekend,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, VSP Superintendent. “Four of those tragically lost were young people with a full life ahead of them, and two of those children were not wearing a seatbelt or safely secured in a child safety restraint. I implore all Virginians to wear their seatbelts and require all those riding with you to do the same.”

According to VSP, the four-day holiday crash statistics occurred in the following counties and cities:

  • Hanover
  • Henry
  • Pittsylvania
  • Shenandoah
  • Sussex
  • Norfolk

Officials say they investigated 772 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.

VSP participated in two annual, traffic-safety enforcement programs over the 2022 Labor Day weekend: Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program aimed to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities, injuries, and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding, or failing to use a seatbelt.

Drive Sober is an anti-DUI enforcement and education program sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP).

According to VSP, because of traffic safety enforcement efforts, during the 2022 statistical counting period, Virginia troopers reported having:

•         Stopped 4,094 speeders

•         Stopped 1,807 reckless drivers

•         Arrested 87 drivers for DUI/DUID

•         Cited 435 seat belt violations

•         Assisted 818 disabled/stranded motorists

Summons funds generated by summonses from the VSP go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding, and teacher retirement.