The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds travelers to make safety part of their Labor Day weekend.
Col. Ronald Replogle strongly urges the use of seat belts when traveling in any kind of vehicle and life jackets when on a Missouri lake, river or stream.
In 2012, seven people were killed and 413 injured in Missouri over the Labor Day holiday in 1,086 traffic crashes. One person was killed or injured every 11.1 minutes. Of that total, troopers worked 201 traffic crashes, which included 144 injuries and four of the fatalities. Troopers arrested 147 people for driving while intoxicated during last year’s holiday weekend.
The 2013 counting period for the Labor Day holiday will be from 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, Sept. 2.
The patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) during the holiday. All available officers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways enforcing Missouri’s speed limit, seat belt and alcohol laws, in addition to being available to assist motorists.
Replogle reminds the public that the Labor Day holiday is a busy boating weekend. Two people were injured in two boating crashes, and one person drowned during last year. Troopers arrested seven people for boating while intoxicated during last year’s counting period. In an effort to increase safety on our state’s waters, all available officers will be working over 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. With more boats on the water, it is even more important to pay attention when operating a vessel.
If you choose to drink alcohol, the patrol says don’t operate a vessel. Alcohol consumption slows reaction time. Pay attention to the boats around you and ask your passengers to assist with this. Evasive maneuvers should be made early and deliberately. Check your vessel’s navigation lights before heading out at night, and be sure to have spare bulbs on board. Avoid overloading your boat with too many passengers, and observe Missouri’s nighttime speed limit of 30 miles per hour on the water.
“The patrol encourages everyone to have a safe Labor Day holiday,” said Replogle. “Please buckle up in your vehicle and wear a life jacket on or near water. If you witness criminal activity or experience an emergency — whether you’re on a highway or on the water — call the patrol’s emergency report line at *55 on a cellular phone. 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.”