6,800 Citations Issued During 2 Day Operation Air, Land & Speed

Even with three of Virginia’s major interstate corridors saturated with Virginia State Police personnel over the weekend, thousands of motorists still refused to comply with state traffic laws. The two-day traffic safety initiative, Operation Air, Land & Speed, on Interstates 95, 81 and 64 resulted in a total 3,590 speeders and another 897 reckless drivers being stopped; 18 drunk drivers being arrested; and 17 drug and felony arrests. A total of 251 seatbelt violations were also cited by state police.

Saturday, July 16, through Sunday, July 17, 2011, troopers conducted roaming patrols and stationary radar along nearly all 300 miles of I-64. The enforcement effort also targeted all 177 miles of I-95 from border to border; and all 325 miles of I-81 from border to border.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

“The purpose of this enforcement operation is to encourage drivers to make safety a priority when driving on Virginia’s interstates,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “To have this many motorists willing to break the law, despite a heightened presence of troopers on patrol, puts too many lives at risk. Every year the Commonwealth loses hundreds of adults, teenagers and children to traffic crashes because of speed, alcohol, aggressive driving and a failure to buckle up. There remains a serious need for motorists to make smart, safe, responsible choices when sharing the road with others.”

The comprehensive enforcement project utilizes troopers, supervisors and motor carrier troopers. State police operational duties on other interstates, primary and secondary roads are not affected during the operation. Funding for the enforcement initiative is provided through federal highway safety monies.

Operation Air, Land & Speed was initiated in 2006 and strictly concentrates on interstate corridors across Virginia. Since its inception, the traffic safety enforcement campaign has resulted in a total of 178,766 traffic summonses and arrests.


  1. Bocephus says:

    Let’s see some statistics on the number of wrecks on the weekends that they operate these revenue-generators versus other weekends. Until they take all unmarked/blend-in cop cars off the road, these efforts will not be about safety, but revenue. Flaherty can provide the standard “safety” reason for these efforts, but it does not carry much weight. A marked police car is a reminder about safety. An unmarked/blend-in car is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    That said, safety should also be a concern for some of these cops on the roads…

    • Rice St. Resident says:

      “That said, safety should also be a concern for some of these cops on the roads…”

      Agreed… i was on my way home from work the other day in Loudoun County, and was tailgaited and then aggressively passed by a Fairfax County sherriffs deputy the other day. No lights, nothing. He continued to tailgate and pass several vehicles in front of me until he was out of sight.

      i understand the need for speed in circumstances, but not when they want to abuse their power of a marked police car just to get home 10 minutes faster…

      • Because I Care says:

        I don’t remember the last time I have seen the driver of ANY police car adhere to the speed limit on the highway. They all go well over the speed limit because they can.

    • Another Thought says:

      I agree that the revenue is an incentive as well, but do we really want drivers only being safe when they see a marked police car? True safety has to take place all the time. Unmarked cars provide a valuable service.

  2. Naked Truth says:

    A marked police car is only a deterrent while it is in sight. I’m sure you notice this while you make your way down the highway. People watch their speed when the marked car is in view. Otherwise it is “game-on”. How many times do you see speeding, texting, aggressive drivers and wished there was a police car around to stop this behavior?
    You can’t mark all police because even bad people will try to act civil if they know they are being watched. There is a need for unmarked. Just look at the Secret Service officers, you don’t see them wearing huge badges do you?

  3. Never speed during a recession

  4. Times are indeed tough, Sarge. I even saw a state trooper pulling over an 18-wheeler on Rt 7 by Grafton this morning.