Our Opinion: Care reduces mayhem on roadways, waterways

We encourage motorists and boaters to use care this Memorial Day weekend, because law enforcement officers certainly will.

The Missouri Highway Patrol will participate in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) beginning Friday and extending through the three-day holiday weekend.

During the operation, troopers will be assigned to 20-mile intervals along interstates and specified highways. They will be alert for all traffic violations, with a special focus on aggressive driving.

The patrol urges motorists to be vigilant in construction zones, buckle up and avoid drinking and driving.

A part of being vigilant is reporting violations.

Motorists or boaters who want to make reports or request assistance may call the patrol’s emergency assistance number, 800-525-5555, or *55 on a cellphone.

Travelers also can check on road construction by visiting the patrol’s website at www.mshp.dps.mo.gov and clicking on the Road Condition icon, or by calling 888-275-6636.

During last year’s Memorial Day weekend, 944 traffic crashes killed nine people and caused 355 injuries. In addition, 184 people were arrested for driving while intoxicated.

The extended holiday also marks the traditional start of the boating season. Thankfully, no boating fatalities occurred last year, but eight accidents resulted in eight injuries. Also, 38 people were arrested for boating while intoxicated.

Combined, the number of crashes, deaths, injuries and violations represent much mayhem during a three-day period — particularly a time associated with recreation and relaxation.

We can and we must do better.

All that’s needed is using care to reduce accidents this Memorial Day weekend.

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