Missouri is on track to cut its highway fatality total by another 100 deaths this year. The Highway Patrol hopes a new campaign makes that reducation even larger.
Missouri has been averaging about one traffic fatality every 12 hours this year. Five years ago, it was one every seven to eight hours.
The Patrol has launched an educational campaign that it hopes will discourage people of all ages from texting while driving, which it hopes will slow the fatality rate even more.
Missouri’s law says it’s illegal for people 21 and younger to text while driving. Patrol spokesman John Hotz says it’s been a difficult law to enforce in the year it’s been in effect, explaining why troopers have issued only 52 tickets in the first year the law has been in effect.
He says the Patrol needs to impress on the public how dangerous driving while texting is. He says people who text while driving aren’t seeing what they’re supposed to be seeing or hearing what they’re supposed to be hearing. He calls texting a “tremendous distraction.”
Missouri is headed for a fifth straight year of declines in traffic deaths.