The Highway Patrol begins its July 4 holiday counting period at 6 p.m., July 3. Spokesman Tim Hull says last year, four people were killed over the July Four holiday counting period, but says because it fell on a Wednesday, the counting period was much shorter than it is this year, when it runs tonight through Sunday night. (Thirty hours versus 102.) Because of that, this year’s numbers could likely be higher.

Hull says the patrol and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force tonight and through the weekend to enforce laws of the road. He says part of that is the 20-mile trooper program, where a law enforcement officer will be on the side of the road at least every 20 miles on major roads and highways.

Capt. Hull says every available officer will be out patrolling the roads, as well as the waterways. He says the Fourth of July is one of the busiest holidays of the year. In addition to the four people killed in crashes last year, 194 were injured. There were 385 crashes total, and 59 people were arrested for drunk driving.

Hull reminds motorists they can call Star 55 from any mobile phone for help or to report an accident. That will ring to the closest troop headquarters from wherever you’re calling in the State of Missouri.

He also reminds motorists that construction zones are common this time of year. To check road conditions or construction zones in your area, call 1.888.275.6636.

This year’s counting period ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, when saturation efforts will end.