Highway Patrol Expect Heavy Traffic During Holiday Weekend
COLUMBIA, Missouri (KMIZ)
Interstate 70 was quiet and calm as Corporal Kyle Green of the Missouri State Highway Patrol made his usual morning rounds Thursday. Despite the light traffic that morning, Green said traffic would pick up in the following days as people traveled to their vacation destinations.
On Christmas Day last year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to 11 car crashes, three of which were fatal. Green pointed to three common causes of car crashes on Missouri freeways: speed, texting, and alcohol. Due to the expected increase in traffic, additional troops will be deployed over the Christmas weekend.
âSo far it’s been an uneventful morning, tomorrow you’re going to start seeing quite a few people going out,â Green said. âUsually on Christmas Day alone the mornings are quite calm here, but around noon you will start to see a significant increase in traffic. “
Green suggests that people leave early for their destinations due to traffic and avoid speeding.
“We realize that a lot of people will be traveling long distances to get to these events, so we have additional soldiers to help look for the dangerous movement violations that often lead to some of the serious accidents we have.” Green said.
If you plan on drinking over the holidays, Green said to plan a trip in advance. This could mean having a designated driver or calling a carpool.
âFind this safe ride for you, your family, your friends so we don’t end up having another tragedy here,â Green said.
While texting and driving is not illegal for people over the age of 21 in Missouri, Green said it can lead to many accidents. If a driver swerves and drives on other lanes, Green said highway patrol will have to stop him.
âPhones are one of the biggest distractions in these vehicles causing a lot of these crashes and no text is worth your life,â Green said.
While a soldier’s job is primarily to watch for traffic violations, Highway Patrol helps any motorist in difficulty. On Thursday morning, Green stopped to help a woman who found a runaway dog.
Green helped the woman contact the dog’s owner and waited for him to come pick her up. Maya the dog was pregnant and left her home by mistake, but was returned to her owner.