Police Will Increase Presence on I-70 This Weekend
COLUMBIA - Missouri law enforcement's "HEAT is on" campaign will kick off this weekend with increased enforcement on I-70. The extra enforcement will take place between 6 a.m. on June 24 and 6 a.m. on June 25. Last year, officers gave more than 1,000 citations in the 24-hour period. Including 144 for seat belts, and 530 speeding tickets.
The campaign is statewide, and for the first time this year, Missouri is working with the state of Kansas to increase I-70 enforcement.
Columbia Police Sergeant, Curtis Perkins, said the campaign has been a success in the past.
"We've actually have had a decline the last couple of years on fatal crashes," said Perkins. "Enforcement has played a role in the decline of traffic crashes."
Last year, 819 people died on Missouri highways. That is the lowest number of people killed in highway crashes since 1949.
The campaign is designed to crack down on drunk drivers, speeding, and people who are not using seat belts. Since the campaign began three summers ago, highway fatalities have decreased each year.
Columbia Police says patrol officers will be working overtime this weekend to monitor the interstate. They will be paid by a grant from the Highway Patrol. Perkins said he does not know how many officers will be on the interstate, but there will be many more than usual.
The program takes place from the end of June until the end of September. Summer can be a deadly time for motorists.
"During the summertime we tend to have more crashes," said Perkins. "Especially on interstate highways."