Patrol targets weekend for Project CARE

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POPLAR BLUFF - Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol will be out in full force this weekend with one goal in mind - to keep drivers and passengers alive.

Captain George Ridens, commanding officer of Troop E, said the troop’s participation in the 2005 C.A.R.E. Lifesaver Weekend will begin just after midnight on Friday and end at midnight Sunday. Troopers from across the area will be actively enforcing all traffic-related statutes during the period with emphasis on seat belt use, aggressive driving, excessive speed, and driving while intoxicated.

The primary roadways for this operation will include, but will not be limited to: Interstates 55 and 57, Highways 60, 61, 67. 412, 25, and 164. Troopers will be asked to maximize patrol visibility in these areas in an effort to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes, Ridens explained.

Troop E has investigated 100 total traffic fatalities in 2005, a reduction of 8 from the same period last year, but the commander acknowledged a noticeable increase in the last 45 days. Since Nov. 1, 27 people have been killed in traffic related crashes in the 13 county area of Southeast Missouri.

“Our goal is to make Missouri’s roadways as safe as possible, but we need the public’s help,” said Ridens. “Please allow plenty of time for your holiday travel, reduce your speed, allow plenty of distance between vehicles, wear your seat belts, and report any drivers who you feel may be impaired or a danger to the public.”

The public is encouraged to report any aggressive or impaired drivers as soon as possible by phoning the Patrol at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone.

For more information contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol, please contact Sergeant Larry W. Plunkett, Jr., Public Information and Education Officer for Troop E, at 573-840-9500.