SIKESTON -- With Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists about the life-savings effects of wearing a seatbelt.
Many Missourians are making plans to travel this week. Those who are hitting the highways are asked to remember to observe the traffic laws and buckle up. Take the time to make sure your car is in good condition before beginning your trip, according to an MSHP news release. It is also important that you are well rested before you start driving.
The Patrol will participate in Operation C.A.R.E (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) during this period.
As part of this operation, all available officers will be assigned to Missouri's roadways to enforce traffic laws, especially those related to drunk driving, speeding, and seat belt use. Troopers will also be assisting motorists as needed. The counting period for the 2007 Thanksgiving holiday weekend is from 6 p.m. Wednesday, until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 25.
During the 2006 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 15 persons were killed and another 581 were injured in 1,387 traffic crashes. These statistics show that one person was killed or injured every 10.3 minutes during last year's Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Over the past five years, 82 people have been killed and 2,993 have been injured in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Motorists are reminded of the Highway Patro's Emergency Assistance number, 1-800-525-5555 (or *55 on a cellular phone). The emergency assistance number should be used to report traffic crashes, crimes being committed, or other emergencies on Missouri's highways.
"I urge motorists to drive carefully and obey Missouri's traffic laws," said Colonel James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "The Patrol is saving lives and drivers can help. Wear your seat belt, pay attention, obey the speed limit, and don't drink and drive."