September 8, 2005
If you recently filled your gas tank, you already know the price of gas is pretty expensive, but what you don't know is that there appears to be good news attached to the price tag. Roads in Virginia were safer with less traffic this weekend.
Whether by plane, or car, it seems people are always in a rush to travel. With Labor Day traditionally marking the end of summer, the holiday makes it no different.
"I think that a lot of people, with the end of summer, want to take one last trip, or go to one last place before it starts to get cooler," said Sergeant Gregory Miller, of the Virginia State Police Department.
Often, one last trip during the summer can be dangerous.
"It depends on the speeds. The higher speeds you see every few minutes," said Sgt. Miller.
It's not only minutes Virginia state troopers track, but the number of tickets, too.
Along Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 29, in the Charlottesville area, troopers issued almost 300 tickets over the holiday weekend; 135 for speeding, 13 for reckless driving, and surprisingly none for driving under the influence. However, there were over 100 issued for other moving violations.
"Which could include failing to yield right of way, stop sign, could be aggressive driving, and could be any number of things," said Sgt. Miller.
For state police, who patrolled over 300,000 miles last Labor Day weekend, those other traffic violations make safety their priority.
"We're out here trying to protect the average citizen, keep them safe, [and] reduce fatalities," added Sgt. Miller.
Troopers did not see fatalities on state roads in Albemarle, Greene, or Nelson counties this past weekend, but elsewhere other troopers did.
This year's total for fatalities was eight. Over the holiday weekend last year, the total tickets issued was 97, and this year it was 267.