Virginia State Police launches ‘Operation DISS-rupt’ on I-81

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — Virginia State Police aim to disrupt speeding and unsafe driving practices on Interstate 81.

On Thursday and Friday, state troopers will pull over drivers to educate and possibly give the driver a citation. They’re calling this initiative “Operation DISS-rupt”, and it stretches throughout the entire span of the interstate in Virginia.

Troopers will focus on distracted driving, impaired driving, speed compliance and seat belt safety.

Tractor-trailer drivers passing through on I-81 know they’re guaranteed to see a distracted driver.

“Almost the majority of the people just drive with their phones in their hand,” said tractor-trailer driver Israel Ortiz Jr.

“[Other drivers] don’t know what we’re dealing with,” said tractor-trailer driver Imran Yaqoob. “How dangerous it is to stop this vehicle.”

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Washington County state trooper Ryan Stiltner said speeding has always been a problem on I-81, especially from out-of-state drivers.

“Occasionally, you have impaired driving, and that happens throughout the day and night,” said Trooper Stiltner.

As drivers travel on I-81, Stiltner has tips on keeping drivers safe.

“Set your cruise on the speed limit if you have cruise control on your vehicle,” said Stiltner. “Put your phone down. Just drive and just pay attention to what’s going on around you. It can’t get much simpler than that.”

The state police hope this campaign will make a difference.

“To save lives and to keep people from hurting other people,” said Stiltner. “And most importantly, just to save lives.”

A similar campaign in February resulted in over 340 citations for speeding to drivers along the interstate span.

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