The Highway Patrol urges drivers to be cautious for New Year's
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Highway Patrol is urging drivers to be vigilant when hitting the roads for New Year's celebrations.
This year's 102-hour counting period starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday's night and runs through midnight Sunday.
Last year, the Highway Patrol registered 380 traffic crashes with 147 people injured over the 30-hour counting period over the New Year's holiday. There were no fatalities during that time period.
The Highway Patrol cautioned motorists to buckle up and obey traffic laws. Drivers should also keep an eye on traffic and other potential hazardous drivers on the roads. To prevent danger, motorists are urged to have everyone in the car wearing their seat belts and keep children in child restraint seats.
If the weather gets bad, the Highway Patrol said drivers should allow extra time for travelling and keep track of the weather forecast if they are planning to go for longer trips. Missouri law requires motorists to have their headlights on while using windshield wipers.
"Missouri weather can just change rapidly, so we remind everybody to check the weather conditions are suitable for driving and if not, just don't get out and drive, it's just not worth a chance," Captain Tim Hull said.
If motorists are planning to consumer alcohol, Hull said drivers should make plans ahead of time for alternative transportation.
"Whether it be a taxi, bus, a shuttle service, or just by designating a sober chauffeur," Hull said. "If they do it beforehand, the more likely to take advantage of that then they do afterwards. Once the person starts consuming alcohol, judgement is one of those things that tends to go very quickly, so we just remind everybody to do that ahead of time."
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