COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Christmas holiday period began at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 27.
MSHP is asking drivers to make safety a priority this year.
In a press release, Eric T. Olson the superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol asked Missourians to, "Obey all traffic laws, drive sober, and pay attention when you're driving."
The superintendent added that every driver can make roadways safer this holiday season.
Last year's 30 hour Christmas counting period saw 278 crashes. Of those, 111 people were injured with three fatalities.
Twenty people were arrested for driving while impaired over that same time period.
This year Kyle Green MSHP spokesman said they've seen an increase in drivers speeding as well as an increase of almost nine percent in fatality rate.
The patrol is urging drivers to ensure they are well rested and their vehicle is in good condition before deciding to travel.
Drivers are also encouraged to check weather conditions and allow extra time for a trip if weather or road conditions are deteriorating.