Memorial Day weekend is the first long weekend of summer. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy visiting family or friends, go to one of Missouri’s lakes, or enjoy any number of recreation opportunities in our state. It is also an opportunity to put safety first. Know where work zones are located along your route, pay attention while you are driving, and buckle up. If alcohol is part of your holiday, make sure driving a vehicle or a vessel is not. If you are planning time on or near the water, make sure you wear a life jacket.

The Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) during the long holiday weekend. This means every available trooper will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists. In addition, the Patrol will assign troopers to 20-mile intervals along Interstates 29, 44, 55, and 70, and U.S. Highways 60 and 61 on May 27, 2016 and May 30, 2016. Troopers taking part in the holiday peak travel crash reduction enforcement project will be alert for all traffic offenses, and be especially vigilant to aggressive driving violations.

Motorists or boaters in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the Highway Patrol's Emergency Assistance number 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. For road condition reports, travelers can visit the web site at and click on the Road Condition icon to view road construction areas throughout the state or call 1-888-275-6636.

Over the 2015 Memorial Day holiday weekend, eight people died and 411 were injured in 969 traffic crashes. Last year, 105 persons were arrested for DWI. This year's fatality counting period for the holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m., Friday, May 27, and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 30, 2016. Troopers will focus their attention on seat belt use, use of child safety seats, impaired drivers, and speed violations.

Motorists are encouraged to be safe and courteous drivers. Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes. Please do your part. Obey all traffic laws and buckle up. The only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as we travel on Missouri's roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. "Don't Violate The Trust."

The Memorial Day weekend is also an unofficial start to the boating season. During the 2015 Memorial Day weekend, there were eight boating crashes which included one injury; no one drowned over last year’s holiday weekend. Troopers arrested 15 people for boating while intoxicated. Boating is a great pastime and troopers want everyone to enjoy themselves. Never operate a boat while you are impaired; never ride with an impaired operator.

Please be courteous to others on the water, wear a lifejacket, and obey the law regarding safe operation of a vessel and no wake zones. Causing harm to another person or their property with an excessive boat wake may subject you to enforcement action or civil liability. Treat other boaters and property owners as you would want to be treated.

Watercraft operators must consider the effect their actions have on others: Share the waterway and use common sense, good judgment, and courtesy to ensure the safety of all. Life jackets save lives. Wear It!!

“Whether you’re on the highway or on the water, be courteous and pay attention. If alcohol is part of your plan, don’t operate a vehicle or vessel. It truly is that simple. We want all of you to have a safe and enjoyable summer beginning with this holiday weekend,” said Colonel J. Bret Johnson. “Please do your part.”

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