For further information please contact: Captain J. Tim Hull
February 2, 2011
EMPHASIS: I-70 Re-Opens But Patrol Still Urges Limited Travel And Extreme Caution
The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to discourage travel following this week's hazardous winter storm. Freezing rain followed by sleet, heavy snow, wind, and bitterly cold temperatures has made driving treacherous and dangerous, as all highways continue to be snow covered. Exposure to extreme cold temperatures and wind chills for extended periods of time can also be very dangerous and even deadly should you break down or slide off the road and become stranded.
During and after inclement weather like we have experienced this week it becomes necessary to adjust how you drive. Drivers are required to "exercise the highest degree of care", by driving safely and within compliance of the traffic laws. For instance: Stopping quickly in the winter on snow-covered or icy roads is next to impossible. Use care by increasing your following distance as you drive. Increase your following distance to five seconds or more. Ask yourself if the speed you're traveling is safe for the weather conditions. Driving the speed limit may not be "exercising the highest degree of care" during inclement weather; driving over the speed limit never is. Section 304.012 RSMo. directs motorists to exercise the highest degree of care on Missouri's roadways. This part of Missouri law states, "Every person operating a motor vehicle on the roads and highways of this state shall drive the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care."
Troopers will be out in full force during these severe weather and driving conditions. All leave days have been canceled and troopers are working 12-hour shifts , some in four-wheel drive pickup trucks, to provide coverage. However, motorists need to be aware response times will be much longer than normal especially on secondary roads.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is here to serve and protect. If you become stranded or see another vehicle stranded on the side of the road with passengers, please call the Missouri State Highway Patrol emergency number at 1-800-525-5555 or dial *55 on a cellular phone. These numbers ring at the nearest troop headquarters.
Obeying traffic laws and being a courteous driver are important every day. In winter driving conditions, this becomes crucial. Please slow down and wear your seat belt.