The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Department of Transportation are tag-teaming on a special education and enforcement campaign which is aimed at reducing fatalities on Missouri’s highways. The Show-Me Zero Fatality Reduction Effort began in April and it focuses on drivers who are impaired, distracted, speeding, and not wearing seat belts.

The Show-Me Zero Fatalities campaign looks at major interstate corridors in St. Louis and Kansas City with the highest numbers of traffic violations and crashes. Those areas have been targeted since April 2022 in a focused effort on education and enforcement.

“So we identified those areas that have a lot of traffic violations, particularly egregious speeding violations where vehicles are traveling substantially over the speed limit,” according to Captain John Hotz with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “We also looked at the areas where they were having fatal crashes as well as injury crashes. The overall effort is to, through enforcement and education, reduce the number of traffic violations. If we can do that, we know that we can eventually reduce the number of traffic crashes that take place in those locations.”

This joint effort between MoDOT and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, as well as local agencies, continues through Spring 2023. It will, then, be reevaluated to see if it needs revisions or moved to additional highway corridors across the state of Missouri.

“This is kind of just the last really big travel season weekend of the year and, unfortunately, we’ve also seen, for example, last year, we had twelve people killed and 540 people injured on crashes just over the Thanksgiving holiday period,” according to Hotz. “We know there’s going to be a lot of traffic out there, but unfortunately there are a lot of traffic crashes. We are doing what we can to urge people to, number one, make sure the vehicle is in good condition, but also make sure they are in good condition. We just have to accept the fact there’s going to be additional traffic out there.”

While the campaign is aimed at specific corridors, drivers all across Missouri are reminded to drive sober, obey the speed limit, put the cell phone down while driving, buckle up, and obey the traffic laws.

Hotz adds, “The traffic patterns are going to be affected. It’s going to take us a little more time to get to where we are going, but if we can be courteous and we can allow ourselves a little bit of extra time; follow the simple rules we always talk about – obey the speed limit, drive sober, pay attention and then make sure everybody is properly restrained – we can actually see a reduction in those number of crashes out there on the roads.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and MoDOT are developing a dashboard report to help provide real-time information on speeds in segments of major highway corridors to help make sure the enforcement efforts are focused on the most needed areas of Missouri. Additionally, the Show-Me Zero Fatalities campaign is available in presentation form for schools, businesses, and civic groups.