A two-day traffic safety program by Virginia State Police troopers resulted in thousands of speeders and reckless drivers receiving citations as part of the Department’s Operation Air, Land and Speed initiative. The enforcement effort began Sunday, May 23, and concluded Monday, May 24, 2010. Troopers patrolled the north-south corridors of both interstates and there were no fatal traffic crashes reported on either interstate during the entire operation.
Virginia State Police cited 6,081 summonses and arrests between both I-81 and I-95 during the May enforcement blitz. Troopers stopped a total of 3,263 speeders, 557 reckless drivers and 16 drunk drivers. The operation yielded 21 drug and felony arrests and there were 252 safety belt violations.
The following is a breakdown for each interstate during May’s Operation Air, Land and Speed project:
Category Interstate 81 Interstate 95
- Speeders 1,943, 1,320
- Reckless Driving 207, 350
- DUI 6 10
- Safety Belt Violations 108, 144
- Drug/Felonies 19, 2
- Total 3,222, 2,859
“With only two days from the start of a busy holiday travel weekend, it is disappointing to see the number of drivers issued summonses for speeding and driving recklessly,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Remember, it only takes a second for a crash to occur. Don’t put yourself or the passengers in your car at risk by driving over the speed limit. Your best defense is to buckle up and slow down this holiday weekend and all year long.”
The May enforcement program was the fourteenth one conducted on I-81 and I-95 since its inception in 2006. Including this latest operation, a total of 129,581 summonses and arrests have resulted from the 25 Operation Air, Land and Speed initiatives carried out in the Commonwealth.
Funds generated from summonses issued by state police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.
The comprehensive enforcement project utilized troopers, supervisors and motor carrier troopers. State police operational duties on other interstates, primary and secondary roads were not affected during the operation. Funding for the enforcement initiative was provided through federal highway safety monies.