As Memorial Day kicks off the summer travel season, the Highway Patrol issues some safety reminders and sobering statistics.
Lieutenent John Hotz says troopers will be out in numbers this weekend in anticipation of heavy traffic statewide, both to enforce traffic laws and to assist motorists who might be having trouble on the roadside.
The Highway Patrol says inattention, speeding and failing to yield the right-of-way cause the majority of accidents. Last year, there were more than 1,000 crashes resulting in 11 deaths and 477 injuries.
The Highway Patrol reminds motorists to obey the sepeed limit, pay attention to extra traffic on the roadways, watch for construction zones, follow traffic laws, fasten seatbelts, and make sure kids are in a safety seat appropriate to the size of the child.
The patrol reports Missouri is currently experiencing an 18 percent reduction in traffic deaths compared to the same time period last year, but says there are many vacation days between now and the end of the year.
The patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) during the long holiday weekend. This means every available officer will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists. In addition, the Patrol will assign troopers to 10-mile intervals along Interstates 29, 44, 55, and 70, and U.S. Highways 60 and 61 on May 22 and May 25.
Troopers taking part in this enforcement project will be alert for all traffic offenses, and be especially vigilant to aggressive driving violations.
Motorists in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the Highway Patrol’s Highway Emergency number (800) 525-5555 or dial *55 on a cellular phone. For road condition reports, travelers can call (800) 222-6400 to hear about road construction areas throughout the state.
Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, intoxicated drivers, and speeding.
Missouri is currently experiencing an 18 percent reduction in traffic deaths compared to the same time period last year, but, the patrol says there are several holiday periods and many vacation days between now and the end of the year. Motorists are encouraged to practice safe driving habits to help continue this trend.