You will see extra Missouri state troopers on the road Sunday and Monday, for New Year’s Eve and the New Year’s Day holiday.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz says eight people were killed and another 302 people were injured in Missouri traffic crashes during the 2017 New Year’s holiday fatality counting period.
“We are going to try to do everything we can to minimize this year,” Hotz says. “We’d love to see a year go by where we had zero fatalities on this particular holiday.”
The Highway Patrol says someone was killed or injured every 15 minutes in Missouri traffic crashes during the 2017 New Year’s holiday weekend.
Hotz tells Missourinet troopers are focusing Sunday and Monday on areas with a history of alcohol-related crashes.
“So we’ll be focusing on those areas to do everything we can to remove those intoxicated drivers, hopefully before they’ve had a chance to create an issue or be involved in a traffic crash,” says Hotz.
Captain Hotz encourages anyone who sees an impaired driver to call *55 on their cell phone.
Hotz also asks Missourians to plan ahead, if they decide to drink on New Year’s Eve or Day.
“We know there’s going to be a lot of people celebrating, we know this is a fun time of the year,” Hotz says. “We just ask people if alcohol is going to be part of your celebration to please determine how you’re going to get home before you start drinking.”
Hotz urges you to use a designated driver or a taxi and encourages motorists to buckle up and to check the weather forecast, before leaving.
The National Weather Service office in Kansas City tweeted that New Year’s Eve is “looking bitterly cold.”
The Weather Service is urging Missourians to make arrangements to “bundle up”, if they plan to be outdoors for New Year’s Eve. The wind chill is expected to be 13 degrees below zero in Jefferson City, when the New Year rolls in at midnight.
The New Year holiday counting period ends at 11:59 Monday night.
Click here to listen to the full four-minute interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Missouri Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz, which was recorded on December 28, 2017: