Summer months are the most deadly on Missouri Highways and the HEAT is On campaign aims to keep fatalities and injuries down.

More than a thousand people were killed during July, August and September over Lt. Col. Richard Coffey the last four years. That’s why HEAT, high enforcement action teams, are forming a strategic initiative to crack down on the three main causes of dangerous crashes — alcohol, inattention and speed.

Lt. Col. Richard Coffey, Asstistant Superintendent of Missouri Highway Patrol, says each of those contributing factors comes down to personal choice.

The patrol reports that so far this year there have been 375 fatalaties compared to 445 this time last year — a 15 percent decrease. Coffey says enforcement’s goal is to see that downward trend continue.

Coffey says during the summer season last year, 251 people were killed and nearly two thousand suffered disabling injuries.

Coffey says the patrol hopes to lower the number of fatalities to fewer than 850 by 2012, a goal that can only be achieved if summer accidents decrease.

The patrol reminds motorists that seatbelt enforcement is also a priority.

Jessica Machetta reports [Download/listen MP3]