Patrol wants safe holiday weekend

Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages everyone to plan for a safe 2020 Labor Day weekend.

“Whether you are on the water or on the road, it’s everyone’s responsibility to travel safely and observe all Missouri laws,” said Col. Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Patrol. “It is also important to observe social distancing and other CDC guidelines related to the coronavirus, and stay home if you are ill.”

As individuals plan their Labor Day weekend, incorporate safety into every facet—choosing the route, making sure equipment is in good working condition, being aware of and following Missouri’s traffic and boating laws, driving vehicles or vessels courteously and wearing a seat belt or a life jacket.

“Help ensure a safer Labor Day weekend for everyone,” Olson said.

In Missouri, nine people died and 431 were injured in 1,021 traffic crashes over the 2019 Labor Day holiday. This means one person was killed or injured every 10.6 minutes. Troopers arrested 116 people for driving while intoxicated during last year’s holiday weekend.

The Labor Day holiday is also a busy boating weekend, Olson said. In 2019, there were 11 boating crashes which included four injuries, and no fatalities. There were no drownings over last year’s Labor Day holiday. Troopers arrested 10 people for boating while intoxicated during last year’s counting period.

The 2020 counting period for the Labor Day holiday will be from 6 p.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Monday.

The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes. All available troopers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways and waterways,” Olson said.

Troopers on the roadways will be enforcing Missouri’s speed limit, seat belt and impaired driving laws in addition to being available to assist motorists.

“Marine enforcement troopers will be working to make our waterways safer during the holiday weekend. Missouri’s boaters are asked to do their part by remaining alert for other boats and swimmers, and being courteous on the water,” Olson said.

With more boats on the water, it is even more important to pay attention when operating a vessel, according to the superintendent. Remember: Smaller vessels should yield right-of-way to larger vessels, he said.

Boaters should avoid overloading their boats with too many passengers and always pay close attention to the boats around them, Olson said.

“Causing harm to another person or their property with an excessive boat wake may subject you to enforcement action or civil liability. Treat other boaters and property owners as you want to be treated. Life jackets save lives. Wear one when you are on or around water,” he said.

Never operate a vehicle or vessel while impaired, he said, adding alcohol consumption slows reaction time.

“If your celebration includes alcohol, designate someone else to drive whether you are in your boat or your car. Please don’t become a statistic,” Olson said.

The public is encouraged to call the Patrol’s Emergency Report Line (800) 525-5555 or *55 on your cellular phone if they witness criminal activity or experience an emergency. These emergency numbers are operational for both highway and water emergencies.

“Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri,” Olson said. “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 …’”

If you or a loved one have suffered accident injuries in a car accident call Northland Injury Law at (816) 400-4878 to speak to a Missouri automobile accident lawyer today for help in recovering the compensation you need. An experienced personal injury attorney can ease some of the burden by engaging in fact-finding, gathering the necessary documentation, and crafting concise and thorough demands for settlement of your claim.

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