The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Published May 17, 2017
Patrol to be out in force for holiday weekend
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - In some ways, Memorial Day weekend is the gateway to summer fun. The long weekend is an opportunity to visit family or friends, go to one of Missouri’s lakes, or enjoy any number of recreation opportunities in Missouri.
Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) would like the public to make safety a priority this holiday weekend.
“Use a seat belt and pay attention when you drive, and wear your life jacket when you're on or near the water,” she said. “Know where work zones are located along your route, and if alcohol is part of your holiday, make sure driving a vehicle or a vessel is not.”
The MSHP 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 20-mile intervals along Interstates 29, 44, 55, and 70, and U.S. Highways 60 and 61 on May 26, 2017 and May 29, 2017.
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.
Over the 2016 Memorial Day holiday weekend, 13 people died and 451 were injured in 1,045 traffic crashes and last year, troopers made 135 DWI arrests.
This year’s fatality counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m., Friday, May 26, and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 29, 2017.
Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, impaired drivers, and speed violations.
“Motorists are encouraged to be safe and courteous drivers. Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes,” a spokesman said. “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 Memorial Day weekend is also an unofficial start to the boating season. During the 2016 Memorial Day weekend, there were 13 boating crashes which included eight injuries and zero fatalities.
No one drowned over last year’s holiday weekend but troopers did arrest 21 people for boating while intoxicated in 2016.
“Boating is a great pastime and troopers want everyone to enjoy themselves. Never operate a boat while you are impaired; never ride with an impaired operator” said the spokesman. “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. 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.
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!”
“All across the state, troopers are prepared and available to provide assistance and protection,” said Karsten. “All of us want you to enjoy a safe holiday weekend. No matter what plans you make, whether you’re on the highway or on the water, please be courteous and pay attention. If you drink alcohol, never operate a vehicle or vessel. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.”
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 our web site at www.mshp.dps.mo.gov. Click on the Road Condition icon to view road construction areas throughout the state or call 1-888-275-6636.
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