Seven people died on Missouri roads this past three-day weekend; seven too many, but still a bit lower than what we might expect from a long holiday weekend.
Independence Day stretched out for a three-day weekend since the 4th fell on a Saturday. Seven people died in traffic accidents. Three drivers who weren’t wearing seat belts died, two motorcyclists died, one person riding a motorized wheelchair and one pedestrian.
State Highway Patrol Captain Tim Hull says despite the longer counting period, the number of people injured and the number charged with drunk driving were comparable to last year. He credits the high visibility of troopers during the most recent campaign.
"That’s something that individuals need to be aware of," says Hull, "They’re (troopers) going to be out there in these special enforcement campaigns, sobriety checkpoints and saturations are going to be on-going. Like the phrase says, the heat’s on."
"The Heat is On" campaign is a 70-day enforcement effort that runs through Labor Day Weekend. Hull says drivers slow down, pay more attention and appear more alert when they see a number of patrol cars on the road.
He says people plan trips well in advance, but sometimes forget to prepare themselves for the trip.
"People get off work; they’ve worked all day long and are trying to get to a destination. Sometimes they get tired and sleepy. They become aggressive drivers," Hull says. "You have a sleepy driver; it is sometimes similar to an intoxicated driver when they’re driving. They are weaving. They fall asleep."
Hull advises travelers to know how far you are going and how much you are capable of. He says a check of the SHP Web site or the Missouri Department of Transportation Web site can help, because they warn drivers of work zones on state roads.