Police on Patrol for Holiday Weekend - WSET.com - ABC13

Police on Patrol for Holiday Weekend

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Roanoke, VA - AAA says it's going to be busy Labor Day weekend with nearly 1 million Virginians expected to drive more than 50 miles, a post-recession record.

If you are heading out, be sure to keep your speed in check as the state police have launched a major operation to try to help keep everyone safe out on the roads this weekend.

"We'll still be out there doing our job. Make sure we can reduce fatalities and traffic crashes," said Bob Carpentieri with state police.

This weekend, 75% of the Virginia State Police force will be out in force focusing on speed and a recurring problem that they say is pushing this year's highway death rate over the average.

"One of the major issues that we've run into in our area is the number of people killed not wearing seatbelts," said Carpentieri.

Jeanne Vaughn has been traveling through Virginia for the past few hours, and she gets the message.

"A lot of police out. A lot of State Troopers. Catching some people that are speeding," she said.

State police are also taking the time to once again warn people about the "move over" law, which they will be enforcing.

"It's not just for police vehicles. You see emergency vehicle, tow truck or VDOT out there it's really common sense to move over to the next lane if you can," said Carpentieri.

VDOT has also put a hold on construction through the weekend to keep the traffic flowing.

"It's nice. A little rain and not too much traffic," said Vaughn.

The rest is up to the driver to ensure those little things don't put a damper on the summer's last hurrah.

"People need to pay attention while they are out there. A lot of times you're not paying attention to what's around you, and all it takes is a second," said Carpentieri.

Dubbed Operation Care - the goal of this operation is to lower last year's Labor Day fatality spike, which registered 16 deaths on Virginia's roads over that weekend. There was a total of 13 deaths for the two years previous to that.

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