Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, would like the public to make safety a top priority this Memorial Day weekend.
A safe, fun weekend starts with planning and good decisions. Whether you decide to travel or stay local, choose to be a safe, courteous driver. Use a seat belt when you drive and wear a life jacket when you're on or near the water. Always pay attention, whether you're operating a vehicle or a vessel, and choose to be a sober driver on land and on the water.
The Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort) during the long holiday weekend. This means every available trooper will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists. In addition, the Patrol will assign troopers to speed saturations, DWI saturations, or hazardous motor vehicle operations in areas where they will have the greatest impact on highway safety. These scheduled operations will occur during peak travel times May 24, and May 27. Troopers taking part in the holiday peak travel crash reduction enforcement project will be alert for all traffic offenses, and be especially vigilant to aggressive driving violations.
Motorists or boaters in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the Highway Patrol's Emergency Assistance number 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. For road condition reports, travelers can visit the Patrol's website at www.mshp.dps.mo.gov. Click on the Road Condition icon to view road construction areas as well as road conditions throughout the state or call 1-888-275-6636.
Over the 2018 Memorial Day holiday weekend, 16 people died and 514 were injured in 1,114 traffic crashes. Last year, troopers made 126 DWI arrests. This year's fatality counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m., May 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m., May 27. Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, impaired drivers, hazardous moving violations, and speed violations.
Motorists are encouraged to be safe and courteous drivers. Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes. Please do your part. Obey all traffic laws and make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint.
The only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as we travel on Missouri’s roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. “Don’t Violate The Trust.”
The Memorial Day weekend is also an unofficial start to the boating season. During the 2018 Memorial Day weekend, there were 14 boating crashes which included 10 injuries and one fatality. Two people drowned over last year’s holiday weekend. Troopers arrested 17 people for boating while intoxicated over the 2018 Memorial Day weekend.
Missouri provides a variety of opportunities for boating. Please be courteous to others on the water, wear a life jacket, and obey the law regarding safe operation of a vessel and no wake zones. Causing harm to another person or their property with an excessive boat wake may subject you to enforcement action or civil liability. Always treat other boaters and property owners as you want to be treated. Never operate a boat while you are impaired; never ride with an impaired operator.
Watercraft operators must consider the effect their actions have on others: Share the waterway and use common sense, good judgment, and courtesy to ensure the safety of all. Life jackets save lives. Wear It!!
“Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity to visit family and friends," Col. Olson said. "If your visit involves traveling on the highway or enjoying one of our state's lakes or rivers, please keep safety in mind. Be courteous, pay attention, and obey the law. If you drink alcohol, never operate a vehicle or vessel."