Missouri State Highway Patrol releases safety app

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COLUMBIA – The Missouri State Highway Patrol released a new safety phone app Thursday that gives the public quick access to send in crime tips, report an accident, and receive alerts.

MSHP employees have been testing the app since it was created in February. It was released to the public after employee input and minor changes. 

“Mobile devices seem to be the way that most people get their information, so we designed the app so that people can have those resources at their fingertips,” MSHP Capt. John Hotz said.

If a user calls the emergency number listed, it will connect them to the nearest troop division. However, if drivers send in photos or tips, the MSHP headquarters will forward the information to the proper law enforcement agency.

“It’s something I’d use just in case I see an accident,” driver Eric Needy said. “Just take pictures and send it to them real quick – it’d be a lot easier that way.”

Other features allow users to pinpoint their location and thank a trooper for their help.

“You can look at the app and pinpoint your location and tell law enforcement exactly where you are,” Hotz said. “A lot of people might not know what mile marker they’re at.”

Joe Deters is a father in Columbia. He said he is most excited about the mobile driver's exam guide. He hopes it will encourage his 15-year-old son to study for his driver’s permit test.

“I’ve already tried to get him to crack the book open and he doesn’t seem to want to,” Deters said.

“Hopefully they’ll study a little better, do a little better on the test, and become a better driver,” Hotz said. “Young people today would prefer to look there as a study guide rather than an actual paper book.”

The app is free to download. Users should choose the “public access” option when prompted to log in.