Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, encourages everyone to make good decisions regarding their New Year’s celebration. This past year has been challenging enough. No one wants to start 2021 with a traffic crash or DWI arrest.
During last year’s 30-hour New Year’s holiday counting period, one person died and 140 people were injured in 323 traffic crashes. Thus, a person was killed or injured every 12.8 minutes during that time frame.
The 2021 New Year’s 78-hour holiday counting period is from 6 p.m. Thursday, December 31, 2020, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 3, 2021.
If your plans to welcome the new year include alcohol, remember that 2021 will be more difficult if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated or involved in a drinking-related traffic crash. If you’re driving, don’t include alcohol or illegal substances in your plan. Be the designated driver or make sure you have one. The roadway is no place for a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you cause a traffic crash, your New Year might begin with being arrested, facing legal fees and medical bills, and perhaps jail time! You could lose your license and will have to face your family and friends. If you kill or injure someone, you’ll pay the price for the rest of your life. Be smart! Designate a sober driver, utilize a ride share service or taxi.
If you plan to drive this New Year’s, remember to buckle up and make sure all your passengers do the same. Pay attention, obey all traffic laws, and when in doubt, yield the right-of-way. Be sure to use your turn signal to communicate your intentions. Remember: The posted speed limit reflects the roadway’s classification and is not a suggestion! There’s no reason to speed—Driving is a responsibility you should take seriously.
Before you travel, check road conditions by calling 1-888-275-6636. Allow extra time during inclement weather or consider staying home. Remember: Missouri law states if you’re using your windshield wipers, your headlights must be turned on.
Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri. The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter. Make good choices, so you’ll never have to say, “If I could just go back.”
Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter @MSHPTrooperGHQ