A Division Of The
Department of Public Safety
Public Information and Education Division - PO Box 568 - Jefferson City, MO 65102

For further information please contact: Capt. J. Tim Hull
Q51011 (573) 526-6115
May 11, 2011
EMPHASIS: Have A Safe Memorial Day!
The first holiday weekend of the year will soon arrive. Memorial Day weekend is an opportunity for Missourians to enjoy the many recreational possibilities in this great state. Whether you will be visiting family, going to one of Missouri’s lakes, or enjoying other travel destinations, the Missouri State Highway Patrol urges everyone to think about safety when making plans for the upcoming holiday weekend. Holidays should be enjoyed, but enjoyed responsibly. Be aware of construction along your route, pay attention while you are driving, and buckle up. If alcohol is part of your holiday, make sure driving a vessel or vehicle is not.
The Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) during the long holiday weekend. This means every available officer will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists. In addition, the Patrol will assign troopers to 20-mile intervals along Interstates 35, 40, 44, 55, and 70, and U.S. Highways 60 and 63 on May 27, 2011 and May 30, 2011. Troopers taking part in this enforcement project will be alert for all traffic offenses, and be especially vigilant to aggressive driving behavior.
Motorists in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the Highway Patrol's Highway Emergency number 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. For road condition reports, travelers can call 1-800-222-6400 to hear about road construction areas throughout the state.
Over the 2010 Memorial Day holiday weekend, six people died and 440 were injured in 1,010 traffic crashes. That is one person killed or injured every 10.5 minutes. Inattention, speeding, and failing to yield the right-of-way were the leading contributing factors to traffic crashes over the 2010 Memorial Day weekend. Motorists are encouraged to be safe and courteous drivers. This year's fatality counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m., Friday, May 27, and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday May 30, 2011. Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, intoxicated drivers, and speeding.
Missouri is currently experiencing a 13 percent reduction in traffic deaths compared to the same time period last year. However, there are several holiday periods, and many vacation days, between now and the end of the year. Motorists are encouraged to practice safe driving habits to help continue this trend.
Memorial Day is also an unofficial start to the boating season. During the 2010 Memorial Day holiday weekend, there were 14 boating accidents with eight injuries and zero fatalities. In addition, three people drowned over the holiday weekend. Officers arrested 36 people for boating while intoxicated. Boating is a great pastime and troopers want everyone to enjoy themselves. Please be courteous to others on the water, wear a lifejacket, and obey the law regarding safe operation of a vessel and no wake zones. Never operate a boat while intoxicated.
"We expect a large number of drivers and boaters this holiday. I encourage everyone to make safety part of their three-day weekend plans," said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Please, DON’T drink and drive; DON’T drink and operate a boat; but DO buckle your seat belt and wear your life jacket. We want all of you to have a safe, enjoyable holiday weekend.”