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Make Safety Part Of Your Labor Day Weekend Plans

MSHP – Colonel Ronald Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reminds Missouri’s travelers to make safety part of their Labor Day weekend. Col. 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 2013, eight people were killed and 404 injured in Missouri over the Labor Day holiday in 967 traffic crashes. Of that total, troopers worked 248 traffic crashes, which included 112 injuries and five of the fatalities over the 2013 Labor Day holiday. Troopers arrested 119 people for driving while intoxicated during last year’s holiday weekend.

The 2014 counting period for the Labor Day holiday will be from 6 p.m., Friday, August 29, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, September 1.

The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) over the Labor Day holiday weekend. 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.

Troopers throughout the state will participate in a 20-Mile Trooper operation on August 29 and again on September 1. This operation will include Interstates 29, 44, 55, and 70, and U.S. Highways 60 and 61. Troopers will be targeting all traffic violations, and be especially vigilant of aggressive driving violations.

Col. Replogle reminds the public that the Labor Day holiday is a busy boating weekend. In 2013, there were nine boating crashes with seven injuries and zero fatalities. There were no drownings. Troopers arrested 14 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.

Remember: If you choose to drink alcohol, 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 Colonel 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 1 (800) 525-5555 or *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.”