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Va. police increase presence for back-to-college rush

Saturday - 8/18/2012, 8:21am  ET

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Virginia State Police are saturating several major interstates Saturday because many college kids are heading back to school.

Troopers will be in cars and on motorcycles, doing extra patrols on the entire length of interstates 95, 81 and 64.

"We know that increasing our presence and visibility on the highways dramatically decreases the number of dangerous driving behaviors, therefore decreasing the odds of traffic crashes, deaths, injuries and delays for motorists," Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent, said in a statement.

Drivers are reminded to stick with the speed limit, wear seat belts and avoid drowsy or distracted driving. Remember that it is also illegal to text and drive in Virginia.

If a car is packed with college stuff, drivers should make sure they can still see out of all windows and that nothing can fall forward onto them or any passengers.

Finally, if drivers see a state trooper or emergency crews on the side of the road, Virginia has a "move over" law. It means drivers have to either move to another lane before passing them or drive cautiously if they can't change lanes.

State police say Saturday's enforcement campaign will not affect their coverage of other roads around the commonwealth.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)