Labor Day marks the end of the bustling summer travel season, and airports across the nation have witnessed a flurry of activity, with Richmond International Airport being no exception. Travelers, eager to return home for work and school, have been on the move as summer draws to a close.
Richmond travelers have reported relatively smooth holiday flights on Labor Day, with many expressing that their experiences surpassed their expectations. Air travel during the holiday period seems to have been more efficient than anticipated.
However, it’s the road travel segment that has raised concerns among law enforcement agencies over the weekend. AAA had forecasted a busier travel weekend than in 2022, both in terms of air travel and road trips.
Kim Peerman, a traveler, shared her experience, saying, “This was amazingly better than anything, like any trip I’ve been on in a long time. No traffic in the airport and traffic getting here and parking, even coming back from Chicago. We got, I guess we got there just in time.”
As the Labor Day weekend concludes, effectively marking the end of summer for most, law enforcement agencies are emphasizing a year-round message: buckle up and drive safely.
Virginia State Police’s crash awareness reduction effort, known as “Operation CARE,” concludes at midnight, and this means an increased law enforcement presence on the roads, including DUI checkpoints. The aim is to ensure that Labor Day road travel remains as smooth and safe as air travel.
Darrell Davis, a traveler, shared, “Wasn’t bad at all. No problem getting there. No problem getting back.”
Over the weekend, in Hanover, police recorded one driver going at an alarming 138 miles per hour in a 70-zone, according to a tweet from Virginia State Police.
During last year’s Labor Day weekend, as part of Operation CARE 2022, Virginia State Police arrested 87 impaired drivers statewide and apprehended more than 4,000 speeders. In addition, there were 12 traffic crash-related fatalities during that period, compared to 10 in 2021. AAA reported responding to over 6,000 roadside emergency assistance calls.
With hopes of reducing these numbers, law enforcement agencies are encouraging travelers to prioritize safety, not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year as we bid farewell to the summer travel season.
Furthermore, police and AAA are reminding drivers about the Move Over Law, which is now in effect. This law requires drivers to change lanes when they encounter a stopped vehicle with flashing lights on the roadside, ensuring the safety of all road users.