Legislative column

Many Missourians are eagerly anticipating a long holiday weekend as Labor Day quickly approaches. It’s always a nice weekend to take some time off from our busy lives and spend it with family and friends. This Labor Day will be no different. While this weekend will likely be full of end-of-summer activities, we won’t forget the reason we are celebrating. We are recognizing the men and women who demonstrate the hard work ethic that built this great nation. Make sure you take time for yourself and your family this weekend to look around and see all that our nation’s hard work has brought us.

We have been celebrating Labor Day for 134 years. The first Labor Day holiday was held on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York. Twelve years later, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. Today, we celebrate with parades and festivals across the country recognizing the American worker.

While your family is taking some time to honor our hard working Americans, remember Labor Day weekend is also one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) says over Labor Day weekend 2015, eight people died and more than 165 people were injured in traffic accidents. MODOT estimates most of the crashes were caused by inattention, failure to yield, improper lane usage, following too close and speeding.

MODOT officials say following the rules of the road and buckling up every time are ways to protect yourself if you are in an accident. Always drive sober. Designate a sober driver. Any kind of impairment on the road is dangerous not only to you and your passengers, but also to others on the road.

Mike Cunningham is a Republican member of the Missouri State Senate, representing District 33. Contact him at 573-751-1882 or www.senate.mo.gov/cunningham

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