SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — You will see extra state troopers on Missouri interstates Friday, on what traditionally is one of the busiest travel days of the year.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol describes Memorial Day weekend as the “gateway to summer fun.”
The Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. during the holiday weekend. Patrol Captain John Hotz says that stands for Crash Awareness Reduction Effort.
“Well we know this is kind of the unofficial kickoff of summertime and there will be a lot of people traveling for the weekend,” says Hotz. “And so we are encouraging people to be aware that there is going to be additional traffic out there.”
You will notice Missouri state troopers stationed at 20-mile intervals Friday and again on Memorial Day along interstates 29, 44, 55 and 70. They will be looking for all traffic offenses, including speeding and aggressive driving.
Captain Hotz tells Missourinet that every available trooper will be on the road, enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists.
“The overall goal is to increase our visibility out there. We know the more patrol cars we have out there, the more people see and they typically drive in a safer manner,” Hotz says.
Hotz says that Missouri state troopers made 135 DWI arrests during the 2016 Memorial Day holiday weekend. 13 people died and another 451 suffered injuries in traffic crashes during the 2016 Missouri Memorial Day weekend.
Hotz is urging motorists to slow down, be courteous and to wear their seat belt this weekend.
“Well we know that speed is the number one cause in fatal traffic crashes that we have,” says Hotz. “Inattention is the number one cause in all crashes, but of the fatal crashes that we work, speed is the number one factor.”
This year’s fatality counting period for the holiday weekend begins Friday evening at 6 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on Memorial Day Monday.
(Brian Hauswirth for Missourinet)