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Highway Patrol will increase traffic enforcement for Thanksgiving holiday

Every 10 minutes, someone was hurt or killed in a traffic crash on Missouri roadways last Thanksgiving weekend. Fourteen people were killed and 553 injured in almost 1,500 crashes between Nov. 22, 2016, and Nov. 26.

To continue the effort to reduce those numbers, every available trooper will be out on the roads enforcing traffic laws and looking for impaired drivers as part of the Highway Patrol’s Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort.

“We’re looking for things as simple as speeding or maybe a turn-signal violation,” said Cpl. Matthew Halford. “These are things that either contribute to a crash or the severity of a crash.”

Troopers will be assigned at 20-mile intervals along interstates 29, 44, 55 and 70, as well as highways 63 and 60.

Distracted driving also increases the risk of a crash. Halford said distracted driving could be anything from changing the radio, to talking on the phone or paying more attention to a passenger than the road.

“Remove those distractions and take your time,” said Halford. “Plan ahead so you’re not running behind because ultimately what some people do when they’re running behind is push the limits and speed limit.”

Troopers will also be available to help motorists that need emergency assistance. Halford said Troop F helped 129 motorists over Thanksgiving weekend last year. Anyone who needs assistance can call *55 on a cellphone and it will ring in to the closest patrol headquarters.

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