Va. State Police will be out in force this holiday weekend


Associated Press |

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 6:48 AM

Updated Friday, May 25 at 8:01 PM

RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia State Police troopers plan to kick off Operation CARE, part of a nationwide program to reduce traffic accidents.

State police say Memorial Day motorists should prepare to see more troopers on the highways this weekend as part of the annual Operation CARE traffic-enforcement effort. The national effort is designed to reduce traffic crashes caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use seat belts.

State police plan to boost enforcement efforts Friday morning through Monday night.

In addition to Operation CARE, state police are participating in the nationwide Click It or Ticket seat-belt enforcement effort, which began Monday and ends June 3.

Tripe A says about a million Virginians will be getting into the car this Memorial Day weekend, taking a trip of 50 miles or more on this traditional kickoff to the summer travel season.

The group says lower gas prices over this week may lead to “last minute trips” and provide a surge in travelers for the long weekend.

“Many travelers reported that they will be more frugal with their vacation funds this year, and may take advantage of historical sites, participate in fun, but free, outdoor activities like hiking, with less shopping and eating out than in years past,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Relations for AAA Tidewater Virginia.

AAA says this year’s median spending for the Memorial Day trip is expected to be $702, only slightly more than the median spending last year which was $692.

Nationally, more Americans will hit the road this holiday weekend than a year ago. And they'll have a bit more money to spend thanks to lower gas prices.
Memorial Day kicks off the summer travel season, and since pump prices never reached $4 or $5 a gallon, as feared, economists says travelers are likely to dine out or shop more once they pull off the road.
About 30.7 million people will drive more than 50 miles for Memorial Day trips, according to auto club AAA. That's 400,000 more than last year, a jump AAA attributes to improvement in the economy and consumer attitudes. The number of holiday travelers grows to 34.8 million when you include planes, trains and other means of transportation.