The State Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists to be safe over this fourth of July weekend. Click to hear KMZU’s Jillian Molloy talk with Assistant Public Information Director Lt. John Hotz.

John Hotz

Press Release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol:

Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol,
reminds Missouri’s travelers of the importance of safety during the
upcoming July Fourth holiday.

In 2010, 13 people were killed and 472 injured in Missouri over the holiday
in 1,121 traffic crashes. One person was killed or injured every 9.6
minutes. Of that total, troopers worked 281 crashes, including six of the
fatalities and 139 injuries during the 2010 July Fourth holiday. Troopers
arrested 169 people for driving while intoxicated during last year’s
holiday weekend.

The 2011 counting period for the July Fourth holiday will be from 6 p.m.,
Friday, July 1, to 11:59 p.m., Monday, July 4.

The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined
Accident Reduction Effort) over the July Fourth 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 July 1 and July 4, 2011. 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.

Motorists who need assistance or who witness criminal activity while
traveling on Missouri’s roadways can contact the nearest Highway Patrol
troop headquarters by calling the Patrol Emergency Report Line at 1 (800)
525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone.

The Water Patrol Division reminds the public that the Fourth of July
holiday is one of the busiest boating weekends of the year. Additional
officers will be working on the state’s waters to ensure safety. 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 your vessel.

· Distractions and alcohol consumption slow reaction time.
· Appoint a passenger to help monitor the other boats around you.
· Make evasive maneuvers early and deliberately.

The many firework displays after dark attract many more boaters at night.

At night, remember to:
· Check your vessel’s navigation lights before heading out, and be sure
to have spare bulbs on board.
· Avoid overloading your boat with too many passengers. This can cause
the boat to become swamped and affect the handling of the boat.
· Observe Missouri’s nighttime speed limit of 30 miles per hour on the
· Slow down and take your time. Nighttime accidents tend to involve
more serious injuries and damage, due to the lack of visibility.

Finally, it is illegal to discharge fireworks from a vessel, so leave them
in a safe place on shore.

“Don’t become a statistic. Make safety a part of your plans for the
Independence Day celebration. Be courteous whether operating a vessel or
vehicle,” said Colonel Replogle. “Remember to buckle up in your vehicle and
wear a life jacket when on or near water. If your celebration includes
alcohol, designate someone else to drive, whether your boat or your car.”