State Patrol Urges Weekend Caution

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will participate in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) during the long Memorial Day weekend. This means every available officer will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists. Motorists in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the highway patrol's highway emergency number 800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. For road condition reports, travelers can call 800-222-6400 to hear about road construction areas throughout the state.

Last year, 12 people died and 591 were injured in 1,228 traffic crashes over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That is one person killed or injured every 7.8 minutes. Inattention, speeding and failing to yield the right-of-way were the leading contributing factors to traffic crashes over the 2006 Memorial Day weekend. Motorists are encouraged to be safe and courteous drivers. This year's fatality counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m., Friday, and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday May 28. Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, drinking and driving and speeding.

Missouri is experiencing a more than a 20 percent reduction in traffic deaths compared to the same time period last year. However, there are several holiday periods, and many vacation days between now and the end of the year. The patrol is asking the assistance of motorists in continuing this reduction throughout the year by practicing safe driving habits.