Flags fly at Pine Lawn Cemetery in Houston. (file photo)

The Missouri State Highway Patrol urges caution during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend – the first holiday of the season.

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 10-mile intervals along Interstates 35, 44, 55 and 70, and U.S. 60 and 61 on May 28-31. Troopers taking part in this enforcement project will be alert for all traffic offenses and be especially vigilant to aggressive driving violations.

Motorists in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should

use the highway patrol’s highway emergency number 800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. For road condition reports, travelers can call

800-222-6400 to hear about road construction areas throughout the state.

During the 2009 Memorial Day holiday weekend, nine people died and 511 were injured in 1,268 traffic crashes. That is one person killed or injured every 9 minutes. Inattention, speeding and failing to yield the right-of-way were the leading contributing factors to traffic crashes over the 2009 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 28, and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 31. Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, intoxicated drivers and speeding.

Missouri is experiencing an 14 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.



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