RICHMOND - Thirteen people were killed on Virginia's highways during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to preliminary data from the State Police.
The holiday statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 and ended midnight Sunday, Nov. 25.
The number of individuals killed during this year's holiday period increased slightly compared to the previous two years. During the five-day 2011 holiday weekend, 11 people were killed in crashes on Virginia roads and traffic accidents claimed 10 lives in 2010.
Of the 13 individuals killed in holiday traffic crashes statewide, three were pedestrians, one was a motorcyclist, and one crash involved a double fatality. The victims ranged in age from 17 years to 71 years old. Alcohol was a factor in at least three of the crashes. Five of the fatalities involved individuals who were not wearing a seatbelt which included four drivers and one passenger. The fatal motorcycle crash took place in Fauquier County. The double fatality in Fairfax County on Interstate 66 was the only one to occur on an interstate during the holiday weekend. Of the seven remaining crashes, one occurred in the City of Richmond; and the counties of Brunswick, Buckingham, Franklin, Louisa, Southampton and Prince William.
During the holiday weekend, Virginia State Police increased the number of troopers statewide as a participant in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). The program is a state-sponsored effort aimed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints, particularly during national holidays.
During the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Virginia State Police cited 9,976 drivers for speeding; 3,099 for reckless driving; 115 for driving under the influence; 832 individuals for failing to wear a seat belt, and 280 for not using child restraints.