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Virginia State Police beef up patrols for Independence Day

By Nadine Maeser, nmaeser@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 03 2013 05:58:36 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 03 2013 06:30:07 PM EDT
Troopers spent Wednesday patrolling local roadways

Nadine Maeser - WDBJ 7

ROANOKE, Va. -

It's the start of a long holiday weekend for many and that means thousands will hit the roads to get to their destination.

Virginia State Police troopers were in full force on Wednesday. Troopers were stationed about every two miles along a stretch of Interstate 81.

Troopers were looking for aggressive driving and speeding. A number of drivers were ticketed for driving close to 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.

"Nobody wants to get a ticket but I don't think there's any one excuse that anyone uses,” said Trooper David Purcell with the Virginia State Police. “I think everyone has different excuses that they are traveling at the speeds they are traveling at."

But Purcell said the law is the law and that's why Virginia State Police beefed up patrols from the normal 40 to 50 percent of trooper presence on the roads, to 75 percent.

Troopers said this is the time of year that accidents and reckless driving tend to happen more than they would like.

"Just being in the heart of summer,” said Purcell. “More people are out and about.”

State Police will scale back patrols as we head on into the weekend, but once Sunday rolls around and people hit the roads to get back home, you can expect to see the same amount of patrolling that we saw on Wednesday.