VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Since the pandemic began, Virginia State Police have seen an increase in speeders and speed-related fatalities statewide. Some officers believe since there are fewer cars on the road, drivers think they have a free license to speed.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, fatalities were up this year by two, coming in at 10 deaths total. According to VSP, preliminary investigations show that four crashes were likely caused by excess speed, killing six passengers, including a teenager and a six-year-old boy.
VSP officers told WDVM drivers are not driving cautiously. They’ve also noticed an increase in other reckless driving practices.
“When COVID came out, it seemed like between March and approximately June we noticed speeds were increasing to egregious amounts of excess of 100mph, the DUI’s were picking up even more…but speeds still started to pick up even more to the point we started getting drag racers, stolen vehicles started to pick up,” said VSP Sergeant Mike Middleton.
Over the 2020 Thanksgiving weekend, VSP:
- Cited 4,930 speeders and 1,706 reckless drivers
- Charged 67 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Cited 498 drivers for not wearing a seatbelt
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