The Missouri State Highway Patrol urges caution during the New Year's holiday.

Missouri State Highway Patrol superintendent Eric T. Olson encourages everyone to make good decisions regarding their New Year’s celebration. A traffic crash or jail cell would be an unfortunate way to begin 2020.

During last year’s 102-hour New Year’s holiday counting period, 11 people died and 447 people were injured in 1,301 traffic crashes in Missouri, meaning a person was killed or injured every 13.4 minutes during that time frame.

Many Missourians will plan special events to welcome 2020. Everyone knows a successful event includes planning, and the most important details should focus on the safety of every guest. As you drive to your New Year’s celebration, remember to buckle up and make sure all your passengers do the same.

Remember that you are transporting special cargo, so pay attention and obey all traffic laws. Be a courteous driver: When in doubt, yield the right-of-way. Be sure to use your turn signal to communicate your intentions. The posted speed limit reflects the roadway’s classification and is not a suggestion, Olson said.

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“There’s no reason to speed – the party starts after you arrive safely,” he said. “Driving is a responsibility you should take seriously.”

The 2020 New Year’s 30-hour holiday counting period begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1.

Before you travel, you can check road conditions by calling 888-275-6636. Allow extra time during inclement weather or consider staying home. Remember: Missouri law states if you’re using your windshield wipers, your headlights must be turned on.

The 2020 New Year’s 30-hour holiday counting period begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1.

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