Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 1, 2012

Local troopers patrol Labor Day checkpoints

PRINCETON — An hour into a checkpoint on Oakvale Road Friday night, troopers with the West Virginia State Police had already stopped about 200 cars, written numerous warning tickets, and made a couple of arrests.

“We have not had any DUI arrests yet,” First Sgt. J.R. Pauley said. “We have made arrests for driving revoked and driving suspended.”

Pauley said many warnings had also been issued for a variety of offenses such as failure to carry operator’s license, expired tags, expired sticker and no proof of insurance.

Eleven troopers were at the traffic stop, which was held to increase public awareness and deter citizens from driving motor vehicles while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

“This is a good opportunity to remind motorists to drive safe and sober this Labor Day weekend,” Pauley said.

The checkpoint was held in the vicinity of the Princeton Church of God. In addition to the State Police, the East River Volunteer Fire Department had a ladder truck on hand to provide roadway lighting.

“We would like to extend our thanks to the fire department for their assistance,” Pauley said. “We also appreciate the public’s corporation with us during the checkpoint as we try to underscore the importance of driving safely.”

Meanwhile in Virginia, law enforcement was also gearing up for the holiday weekend. Lt. J.E. Murphy with the Virginia State Police said law enforcement began increasing patrols on Interstate 77 and Interstate 81 Friday. Murphy said increased patrols will continue throughout the Labor Day weekend.

“We are increasing our road patrol during the holiday weekend,” Murphy said. “We just want people to buckle up and move over because that is the law in Virginia. We see a lot of traffic during these long holiday weekends. We will have 75 percent of our road troopers out on the road this weekend because of the increase in traffic.”

According to the Virginia State Police, troopers will be providing stationary and roving patrols across highways and will be participating in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (Operation C.A.R.E.) to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failure to use seat belts.

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, issued a statement asking for drivers to remember Virginia’s Move Over Law, which has been in effect since 2002. The law requires motorists to change into another travel lane if able in order to pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road.

“Virginia heads into this extended holiday weekend with 500 lives already lost to traffic crashes in the year 2012,” Flaherty said. “I encourage all motorists to put forth a concerted effort this weekend to make safe driving a priority, so we can save lives rather than sacrifice them because of an individual’s reckless and deadly driving behaviors.”

— Contact Kate Coil at

kcoil@bdtonline.com

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