State police warn area residents not to let today’s ‘oohs/aahs’ get in the way of safe driving

Published 9:33 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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With pre-pandemic attendance anticipated for Tuesday’s Fourth of July celebrations across the region, the Virginia State Police reminds drivers to make safe driving a priority and plan ahead if traveling near fireworks displays Tuesday evening.

Motorists are advised to do the following to make their trip and evening as safe as possible for all:

  • Plan ahead for significant traffic delays around the area before and after the Independence Day events.
  • Add extra travel time to reach your destination.
  • Prepare the vehicle. With extremely hot temperatures and possible storms in the forecast, make sure all vehicles are in good working condition and has ample fuel for the likelihood of traffic delays.
  • Prepare yourself. Make sure the driver and any passengers are prepared with extra water to stay hydrated in the heat, snacks and a phone charger. For a complete “emergency care kit” list, click on the following link to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s (VDEM) website:
  • Stay focused on the road, not the fireworks. It’s tough to ignore a beautiful show, but fireworks are not be watched from behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Please don’t drive distracted, for everyone’s safety.
  • Interstates are not for spectator watching. State police will not allow motorists to pull over on any interstate to watch the fireworks. Virginia law not only prohibits motorists from stopping or standing on an interstate for a non-emergency situation, it also extremely dangerous for everyone. The roads must remain clear for traffic. Violators will be cited and directed to move on.

For the latest on traffic conditions, motorists are reminded to check in with VDOT’s 511 app or online at

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