Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 3, 2014

Troopers in two Virginias plan to increase patrols during holiday weekend

PRINCETON — People on the highways during the Fourth of July weekend need to remember that troopers in both Virginias will be watching for impaired driving and other infractions capable of ruining a holiday.

In West Virginia, increased patrols will begin at midnight on July 4, said Sgt. M.S. Haynes of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment.

“We’ll be focusing on speeding, texting, DUIs, seat belts, and child restraints,” he said.

The increased volume of traffic hitting the highways July 4 means that motorists need to be especially alert.

“As with any holiday, on the Fourth of July they need to use common sense, give themselves plenty of time to reach their destination, and don’t speed,” Haynes said. “People are trying to get somewhere as fast as they possibly can and it never seems to work well. Everybody’s trying to get somewhere, and we just want them to get there safely.”

Motorists who plan on drinking alcohol need to have a designated driver; people pulled over for DUI will be arrested, Haynes said.

Across the state line, the Virginia State Police will also be conducting extra patrols throughout the holiday weekend. This effort will be part of Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), which concentrates on safe driving through strict traffic enforcement in an effort to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.

The 2014 statistical counting period for the holiday weekend starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1 and ends at midnight Sunday, July 6, according to a press release issued by the Virginia State Police.

“During the 2013 Fourth of July holiday period, Virginia troopers arrested 104 for DUI because of their reckless decision to drive impaired,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Consider this your only warning. If you drink and drive, then you will be arrested and charged by a trooper. We have zero tolerance for those who irresponsibly choose to put lives at risk on Virginia’s highways.”

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