Memorial Day commuters should expect delays and traffic stops

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COLUMBIA - Memorial Day brings baseball, barbecues and loads of traffic. State agencies are reminding drivers to be safe and smart over the holiday weekend.

Travelers in a hurry might run into some obstacles. Construction on westbound I- 70 has limited the roadway to one lane. The Missouri Department of Transportation reports that has created delays up to an hour.

Motorists that plan to celebrate the weekend in Kansas City for the baseball game are advised to re-route and travel on route 50 or 36.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is preparing to keep travelers safe by implementing observatory protocols.

"Memorial Day is historically a busy travel day and weekend," Corporal Scott White said. "Troopers are going to be stationed at 20-mile intervals all across the interstates and all the major highways in Missouri."

White said that while troopers will be watching for traffic violators, their ultimate goal is to reduce and prevent the crashes that occur on the highways. Memorial Day last year resulted in eight fatalities and none of those crash victims were wearing seat belts.

White wants to remind people to abide by the "click it or ticket" regulations.

White said the highway patrol also wants to ensure that pedestrians are safe.

"I want to remind drivers when they approach a construction zone, especially those lane drops, workers might be present, they have to be attentive to what's around them," White said. "If you are stopped for speeding or passing in a construction zone those fines can actually be increased by at least 200 to 300 dollars."

White said keeping eyes on the road is a must, especially when driving in zones with high levels of construction and traffic.

"I think accidents could be increased when lanes are reduced, however in Missouri, the leading cause of traffic crashes is inattention," White said. "If drivers are paying attention to the signs that MoDot puts out there and all the warning indicators, then they can travel safe."

Throughout the weekend, Missouri State Highway Patrol won't be just looking for those who are speeding. 

"Well obviously we're going to be looking out for any type of traffic violations there but our main goal is actually to reduce and prevent the crashes that occur out there in the highway. Last year in 2014, there were actually 8 fatalities in Missouri over the Memorial Day weekend and none of those people were wearing their seat belts," White said. 

The 20-mile project last until midnight on Tuesday and then will pick up again on Monday starting at 10 a.m.

 

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