Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, is emphasizing the importance of safety during the increased traffic expected over the Thanksgiving holiday. He urges drivers to stay alert to changes along their usual routes and prioritize safety, regardless of traffic conditions.
The counting period for the 2023 Thanksgiving holiday weekend extends from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 26, 2023. During this period, troopers will actively participate in Operation C.A.R.E., focusing on enforcing traffic laws and assisting the public. This initiative follows the 2022 Thanksgiving period, where nine fatalities and 482 injuries occurred in 1,355 traffic crashes.
Motorists are advised to ensure their vehicles are in optimal condition and to be well-rested before embarking on their journeys. Colonel Olson reminds drivers that there is no excuse for speeding, aggressive driving, or impaired driving.
In Missouri, traffic crashes claim too many lives annually. Colonel Olson stresses the significance of responsible driving, emphasizing that the choices made behind the wheel can have lasting consequences.
For those planning to spend their Thanksgiving weekend boating or fishing, it’s crucial to be aware of the shorter daylight hours and the importance of functioning navigation lights. Boaters are advised to check their lights and carry extra bulbs. With colder water temperatures, the risk of hypothermia increases, making it essential to have a plan for quick exit from the water in case of an accidental fall. The importance of wearing life jackets and exercising caution to prevent overboard incidents is also highlighted.
Watercraft operators are reminded to share waterways responsibly, exercising common sense, good judgment, and courtesy for the safety of all. The emphasis is on the life-saving importance of wearing life jackets.
The public can report criminal activity or emergencies on highways and waterways by calling the Patrol’s Emergency Report Line at (800) 525-5555 or *55 from a cellular phone. Colonel Olson also stresses the importance of designating a sober driver, whether on the road or water, to avoid becoming a statistic.