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

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will have extra officers on roadways during the long Memorial Day holiday.

The patrol will participate 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, 44, 55 and 70, and U.S. 60 and 63 on May 25 and May 28. Troopers taking part in a 20-mile trooper enforcement project will be alert for all traffic offenses, and be especially vigilant to aggressive driving violations.

Motorists or boaters in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the Highway Patrol’s Highway Emergency Assistance number 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 and click on the “Road Condition” icon to view road construction areas throughout the state.

Over 2011 Memorial Day holiday weekend, four people died and 415 were injured in 1,019 traffic crashes. That is one person killed or injured every 11.2 minutes. Last year, 133 persons were arrested for DWI. This year’s fatality counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, intoxicated drivers and speed violations.

Missouri is experiencing an 18 percent increase in traffic deaths compared to the same time period last year. Motorists are encouraged to be safe and courteous drivers. Speed, inattention and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes.

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