The Holiday Counting Period Begins Earlier This Year

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COLUMBIA - The counting period for this year's New Year's Eve will begin at 6:00 p.m. tonight. The counting period is the time specified by the safety council as the holiday period when people will be going and leaving holiday festivities.

Unlike last year's 102 hour counting period where there were 1,615 traffic accidents that injured 517 people and killed 12, this year's will only be 30 hours. It is much shorter than last year because it will not include the weekend in this year's holiday counting period.

Captain Hull from the Missouri State Highway Patrol said every available officer will be making sure drivers are making smart decisions while out on the roads. The highway patrol also has several tips on how to avoid starting the new year with a traffic crash.

1. Remember to obey all traffic laws and put on your seatbelt.

2. Be a courteous driver and if you are unsure, yield the right-of-way.

3. Pay attention to the road while driving.

4. Check the forecast and allow extra time to get somewhere if the weather is bad.

5. If you are going to be drinking alcohol, designate a sober driver before the party begins.