News & Resources

October 15, 2014

Don't Make a Rookie Mistake When Driving Around Big Rigs

JEFFERSON CITY – We see it on our roadways every day - experienced and older drivers who have become complacent in their daily commute or weekly travel, zipping in and out of traffic and not thinking about the rules of sharing the road with big rigs. At up to 20 times the weight of a passenger vehicle, these big rigs can cause serious and often fatal injuries when involved in a crash.

            With so many large trucks on our roadways it’s imperative that drivers of passenger vehicles use extreme caution when maneuvering around those big rigs. Motorists are urged to share the road, respect each other, pay attention and avoid unsafe behavior that could result in a crash.

            “Research indicates that drivers of passenger cars are responsible for 70 percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks,” said Dr. Leanna Depue, executive chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “In fact, the actions of the automobile driver are more than three times likely to contribute to a fatal crash than the actions of the truck driver.”

            During the Commercial Vehicles Safety Alliance (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week, October 19–25,            Missouri law enforcement agencies will pay special attention to commercial vehicle drivers' compliance with safety regulations. They will also watch for unsafe and aggressive driving behaviors by both passenger and commercial drivers on highways and local roads.

            “The intent of Operation Safe Driver Week is to improve driver behavior and performance through effective enforcement, education and awareness,” said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

            Missouri statistics reveal that it’s our older driver population that most often encounter collisions by underestimating size, distance and speed of big trucks. All motorists, even those who have been driving for years, need to always remember the following safety tips when driving near a big truck:

  • Stay out of the No Zone. Don’t linger alongside a truck or bus - you could be driving the No-Zone.
  • Stay visible! Never underestimate the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer.
  • Don’t tailgate a truck. The farther you are from a truck the less likely you will be involved in a collision.
  • Don’t speed. Obey all speed limits.
  • Allow plenty of room. Large trucks need more room to make turns and maneuver in traffic.
  • Use your headlights in inclement weather. Lights make cars more visible to truck drivers. A gray car against a gray highway on a gray, rainy day is hard to see.
  • Buckle Up. Wearing your safety belt is the single most important thing you can do to save your life in a crash.

                Protect yourself and your passengers by learning how to share the road safely with large vehicles and avoid distracted driving.

            For more information about sharing the road safely, visit www.savemolives.com.

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October 14, 2014

                                                                             
Statewide Highway Safety Award Winners Announced

JEFFERSON CITY – Four highway safety statewide award winners and 14 regional award winners were given recognition at the 2014 Blueprint for Safer Roadways Conference held in St. Louis Sept. 29 – Oct. 1. Six organizations and individuals also received outstanding partner awards.  The conference is sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, whose goal is to reduce fatalities and disabling injuries on Missouri roads. “We very much appreciate the efforts of all who are involved to encourage safe driving, and we will continue to work towards the ultimate goal of losing zero lives on Missouri roads,” said Leanna Depue, Ph.D., director of highway safety for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The statewide Arrive Alive Award was presented to One Curve at a Time, a nonprofit organization made up of concerned citizens who have been dedicated to building awareness and making changes to dangerous roads and curves where vehicle crashes occur. The organization was founded by the family of Kaela Marie Acrchambault, who was 20 years old when she died in a traffic crash along Highway FF in Jefferson County. The award recognizes an individual or group that has shown exemplary dedication and leadership in the field of highway safety. It is the highest award given by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. (picture attached)

The statewide Tempe Humphrey Award was presented to ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City/The Research Foundation. This award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact in the area of youth or teen safety. It was named for a former Division of Highway Safety employee who created and implemented the statewide Team Spirit program to engage high school students in the process of safe driving.  Tempe was killed in 2006 in a motorcycle crash. ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City is committed to educating young people about the importance of safe driving by offering three distinct program: school assemblies; the Youth Traffic Offenders program; and RoadWise. Among 145 chapters nationwide, the KC Chapter of ThinkFirst ranks #1 in the number of youth reached each year.  (picture attached)

The statewide Lay Down the Law Award was presented to Patrol Sergeant Brent Bernhardt with Troop B of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. This award recognizes an individual or group that has substantially advanced highway safety in Missouri. Sgt. Bernhardt has dedicated 24 years to serving Missouri travelers. He has spent countless hours, evenings and weekends presenting a variety of safety programs to audiences of all ages. His passion and determined approach for the safety of the traveling public come across in every presentation. His field knowledge working crashes has given him firsthand experience to relate to the audience the difference a seat belt can make, as well as the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.  (picture attached)

The statewide Show-Me Safety Award was presented to the three organizations, TrailNet, MoDOT and Metro of St. Louis, for their collaboration of “Safe Roads for All,” a safety campaign to build awareness regarding bicyclist, pedestrian and motorist safety. For the past three years, the three organizations have partnered to lead a safety drive, a large bicycle ride, and a walking group to MetroLink from Forest Park to the St. Louis Downtown Bicycle Station to represent the importance of sharing the road. (picture attached)

The MO Coalition for Roadway Safety oversees seven regions that work closely with communities to identify opportunities to reduce fatalities and disabling injuries on Missouri roads. Each region selected an Arrive Alive Award recipient and a Show-Me Safety Award recipient. They are as follows:

Northwest Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is the “I’m a Safe Driver” program, sponsored by the St. Joseph Police Department.

Northwest Regional Show-Me Safety Award winner is Safety Town, sponsored by the St. Joseph Safety and Health Council.

Northeast Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is Terri Magers, school nurse for Atlanta C-3 School.

Northeast Regional Show-Me Safety Award winner is Kim Biondo, outreach coordinator for the NE Coalition for Roadway Safety and employee of Lincoln County Emergency Management.

Kansas City Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is Rose Simone, co-director, ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City.

Kansas City Regional Show-Me Safety Award winner is Phyllis Larimore, car seat program coordinator, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.

Central Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is Dianna Johnson, education and outreach/Adopt A Highway coordinator for MoDOT.

Central Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is Maggie Roberts, retired school teacher from St. James High School.

St. Louis Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is the Jefferson County Safety First Coalition.

St. Louis Regional Show-Me Safety Award winner is the Safe Kids Child Passenger Safety Event.

Southwest Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is Kurt Larson, for the Missouri Safe and Sober Program.

Southwest Regional Show-Me Safety Award winner is Lt. Jeremy Lynn, Green County Sheriff’s Office.

Southeast Regional Arrive Alive Award winner is Trooper Cameron Heath, Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Southeast Regional Show-Me Safety Award winner is Courtnie Glenn, Wright County Health Department.

The Coalition is led by an executive committee that recognized the following organizations and individuals as outstanding partners:

City of St. John and Hardy Menees of law firm Menees, Whitney, Burnet and Trog, for their primary safety belt ordinance legal defense;  Kurt Larson for the Missouri Safe and Sober Program; Joe Machens Ford, ThinkFirst Missouri, and KRCG 13 for their support of the “Focus on the Road” campaign.

The Blueprint Conference is held every two years and led by several active members of the Coalition. More information about the Coalition can be found online at www.savemolives.com.  Photos of award can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/modot/.

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September 9, 2014

National Child Passenger Safety Week Sept. 14 -20.

Is Your Child in the right safety seat?

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – How certain are you that your child is the safest they can be while riding in the car? With car crashes being a leading cause of death for children 1 to 12 years old in the United States, it’s very important to make sure your child is in the correct safety seat to accommodate their growing bodies.

Appropriate car seats are very important for kids’ safety. Missouri law requires all children under age eight be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat, unless they are at least 80 pounds or 4 feet 9 inches tall.

              During Child Passenger Safety Week parents and child caregivers are encouraged to participate in a safety seat check up and find out from experts how best to protect their kids. The annual campaign includes education on proper safety seat installation and use as well as increased law enforcement cracking down on Missouri’s child safety seat law violators.

“The goal is to make sure all parents and caregivers are correctly securing all children in the right car restraints for their ages and sizes,” said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “Safety seats prevent serious injuries and could save your child’s life.”

The wide range of car seat models on the market today leaves more than a few parents confused. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study revealed that nearly 75 percent of parents don’t know how to use child safety restraints properly. Child passenger safety technicians in Missouri report an even higher misuse rate.

National Seat Check Saturday is Sept. 20.  Technicians will provide on-site car seat checks and education at locations throughout Missouri. To find a safety seat check event in your area, visit seatcheck.org. For more information visit saveMOlives.com and social media at Save MO Lives.

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September 3, 2014

Battle of the Belt Challenges Students to Buckle Up!

Seat Belts Save Lives.

JEFFERSON CITY - All Missouri high schools are called to compete in the 2014 Battle of the Belt Challenge for an opportunity to win cash and prizes teaching students the importance of buckling up.

Sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, the statewide competition will run October 1 to November 19 to educate young drivers about safety belt use, reduce traffic crash injuries and save teen lives.

"Nearly eight out of ten teens killed in Missouri vehicle crashes over the last three years weren't buckled up," said Leanna Depue, chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's executive committee. "The Battle of the Belt competition can make a difference with Missouri teens and save lives through education, competition and fun."

Teen drivers are overrepresented in crashes both nationwide and in Missouri. Although comprising only seven percent of Missouri's licensed drivers, they were involved in nearly 20 percent of the fatal and serious injury crashes over the last three years. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15-20 years old. Results of a 2013 survey among Missouri teens indicate 33 percent of teens are not wearing safety belts.

The program consists of two surprise seat belt checks at each high school to measure student seat belt usage before and after an educational campaign on the importance of safety belt use. In addition, schools have the opportunity to submit a 30-second video spot aimed at encouraging their peers to buckle up. Statewide and regional cash prizes are awarded to schools reaching high safety belt usage rates to further educate the students on the importance of safety belt use.

Schools achieving Highest Overall Seat Belt Use and Most Improved Seat Belt Use regionally will receive $500.00 donated by American Family Insurance. Statewide recognition will be awarded with a banner for seat belt use rates of gold (99-100 percent), silver (95-98 percent) or bronze (91-94 percent) donated by the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians. The top three winning video spots will also receive funding to further seat belt educational programs. 

The program originated in southwest Missouri by the Missouri Emergency Nurses Association and St. John's Hospital. In 2006, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, in conjunction with American Family Insurance and the Missouri College of Emergency Room Physicians, took the competition statewide and continues to sponsor this year's program.

High schools can sign up for the Battle of the Belt Challenge by completing a participation agreement form online at http://www.modot.org/Safety/BattleoftheBeltChallenge.htm before September 26.

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August 7, 2014

Impaired Driving Claims Lives. Talk About Wasted.

Missouri law enforcement reminds motorists to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

JEFFERSON CITY – Each day lives are drastically changed or lost in preventable traffic crashes caused by impaired driving. Drivers continue to break the law by driving impaired, putting thousands of travelers at risk daily.

              Holiday weekends bring a surge in impaired driving, so this year’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility crackdown will run Aug. 15 through the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 1.

“We want drivers to know that we will not tolerate impaired driving,” said Colonel Ronald Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “We will continue our year round efforts of enforcing Missouri's DWI laws, and through this campaign create public awareness to the dangers impaired driving causes on our highways."

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data shows that drivers respond well to this type of high visibility enforcement. Past campaigns have resulted in a 20 percent decrease in substance-impaired crash fatalities. On average, one person will die every 34 minutes in an impaired driving crash over the Labor Day period, that’s a lot of lives that could be saved.

Statewide, law enforcement made 587 DWI arrests during the impaired driving campaign in August and September of 2013.

“Substance-impaired driving contributes to nearly 30 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities,” said Leanna Depue, executive chair to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “In 2013, 223 people were killed and 728 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes that involved at least one impaired driver.”

We are all a part of the solution. Please consider the following tips:

  • Don’t risk it – if you plan to drive, don’t drink.
  • Encourage safe driving behaviors among family, friends and co-workers.
  • Choose a designated driver before partying.  A designated driver is someone who drinks NO alcohol at all.
  • Take mass transit, a taxicab or ask a friend to drive you home if you have no designated driver and no other means of transportation.
  • Party hosts should include alcohol-free beverages for designated drivers.
  • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
  • Always wear your safety belt – it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.

To learn more about impaired driving and how you can Arrive Alive, visit saveMOlives.com, or follow social media at Save MO Lives, #DriveSoberMO.

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June 25, 2014

Impaired Driving Could Mean a Deadly Holiday Weekend

JEFFERSON CITY -Are you looking forward to the red, white and blue flashing lights of the Independence Day holiday? If you're thinking about drinking and driving, those lights may be flashing from a patrol car - and the view of the fireworks is not so good from a local jail cell.

The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to substance-impaired driving crashes. Local law enforcement will be out in full force July 2-6 seeking impaired drivers through increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and saturation patrols, and other enforcement methods. There are no warnings and no excuses. If you drive impaired you will be arrested. Don't risk losing your independence by choosing to drink and drive. 

"Last year 19 people were killed in traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday," said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Thirteen of those fatalities involved a substance-impaired driver."

Often, people have a hard time recuperating financially from the cost of an arrest or the crash itself. Violators risk killing or harming others, face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety recommends these simple tips to avoid a drunk-driving disaster:

  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to call local law enforcement.
  • Always wear your seat belt.  It's your best defense in any traffic crash.

For more information, visit www.savemolives.com, or find them on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.

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May 13, 2014

Buckle Up Day and Night Click It or Ticket

JEFFERSON CITY -Summer travel season is upon us. Whether you're planning a weekend drive or that long summer trip, please protect yourself and those you love by making sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up - every trip, every time. 

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is joining with state and local law enforcement May 19 - June 1 in the national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign to crack down on buckling up. Missouri's seat belt usage remains relatively unchanged at 80 percent, and consistently below the national average of 87 percent.  

"The best thing motorists can do to protect themselves while traveling in a motor vehicle is to buckle their seat belts and to make sure everyone else in the vehicle is buckled as well," stated Colonel Ronald K. Replogle, superintendent of the Highway Patrol.  "We want to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt every time they get into a car or truck. This type of campaign and enforcement effort is just one method used to heighten awareness about the importance of wearing a seat belt and saving lives. Highway Patrol troopers will continue to take a zero tolerance approach in the enforcement of seat belt and child restraint laws throughout the year in our effort to reduce injuries and save lives."

In 2013, 757 people were killed in traffic crashes on Missouri's roadways, and 63.4 percent of those were not wearing seat belts.

"Sixty-five percent of Missouri fatalities since the first of this year have been unbuckled vehicle occupants," said Leanna Depue, chair of the coalition's executive committee. "We want to make sure everyone is buckled up - day and night."

Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities in a crash.  When worn correctly, seat belts can reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent. Similarly, belt use reduces the risk of serious non-fatal injuries by 50 percent for front seat occupants.  

For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit http://www.savemolives.com/, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.

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May 1, 2014

Watch for Motorcycles - May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

Campaign aims to increase motorcycle safety awareness for all road users

JEFFERSON CITY -Warm weather means enjoying the beautiful outdoors, and motorcyclists across the state are doing just that. As they're tuning those engines and polishing that chrome one last time, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind motorists and motorcyclists alike to "Watch for Motorcycles" in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on Missouri's roadways.

"Many motorcyclists will be out as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect time for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month," said Dr. Leanna Depue, executive committee chair of the coalition. "By following basic safety rules, we can all help prevent crashes."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:

•         Although a motorcycle is a small vehicle, the operator still has the same rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.

•         Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.

•         Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.

•         Never drive distracted or impaired.

Motorcyclists must also take precautions to remain safe on the road. Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:

•         Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.

•         Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed and trained.

•         Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.

•         Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.

•         Never ride distracted or impaired.

Very often, drivers of cars and trucks don't see motorcycles until the last second, or sometimes not at all. Motorcycle operators have to anticipate the moves of other drivers and be extra cautious of road conditions and debris.

Motorcycle experts recommend motorcyclists also complete some type of training before getting out on the road. There are 29 training locations in Missouri. You can find the one nearest you at http://www.mmsp.org/.

For more information, visit http://www.savemolives.com/ or Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.  Arrive Alive.

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April 28, 2014

This Cinco de Mayo, Don't Let Fiestas Lead to Fatalities

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

JEFFERSON CITY -In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become synonymous not only with tacos, sombreros, and piñatas, but also with margaritas, tequila, and beer. With alcohol playing such a big part in these festivities, it's no surprise that impaired driving is a big concern on May 5.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind partygoers that drunk driving should never be part of your Cinco de Mayo plans. Always designate a sober driver.

"Some people have this misconception that they can drink a little, and drive safely," says Leanna Depue, chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's executive committee. "The only safe driver is a completely sober driver."

In 2013, one person was killed and 12 seriously injured in substance-impaired driving crashes on Cinco de Mayo (6 p.m. May 3, 2013 to 5:59 a.m. May 6, 2013). This indicates that people aren't planning ahead. 

Here's the worst part - these impaired driving deaths are preventable. You can have a safe and happy Cinco de Mayo by taking a few minutes ahead of time to get a plan together. 

Law enforcement is always on the lookout for impaired drivers, and those who are caught will be arrested. In many jurisdictions refusing a sobriety breath test can result in enhanced penalties, including immediate loss of your driver's license. If you are going to drink at all on Cinco de Mayo, designate a sober driver.

For more information, visit http://www.savemolives.com/ or Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.  Arrive Alive.

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April 15, 2014

Motorcyclists Urged to Drive With Caution This Spring

Harsh Winter Shows Wear and Tear on Missouri Roadways

JEFFERSON CITY - No one appreciates a warm spring day more than a motorcyclist who's had a bike sitting in the garage all winter. As engines rev in anticipation of a beautiful Missouri scenic ride, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to encourage riders to keep an eye out for debris, gravel, and rough road conditions that often result after a hard winter.

Road crews are working daily to fill and repair winter roadway damage. In the meantime it's important to pay special attention to the roadway conditions when planning a ride. 

Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than passenger vehicle occupants in crashes.  Therefore, it's very important to always wear proper protective gear, including a DOT compliant helmet when riding.

"In 2013, 72 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes on Missouri roadways," said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Defensive driving, along with proper training and licensing are essential for all motorcyclists."

Motorcycle safety courses are an excellent way to learn basic bike control and crash-avoidance skills. The Missouri Motorcycle Safety program oversees quality education for motorcycle riders at 28 training sites around the state. To locate an approved course near you visithttp://www.mmsp.org/.

For more information on motorcycle safety visit saveMOlives.com. You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook and Twitter.

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April 8, 2014

Motorists Reminded to Buckle Up and Pay Attention..

Law enforcement on the lookout for unbelted and distracted drivers

JEFFERSON CITY – Warm April days find more motorists on Missouri’s roadways. Some are on a mission, while others are just out on a leisurely drive to see the sights of spring.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind motorists that law enforcement will be out in full force on April 14, cracking down on unbelted motorists, and encouraging drivers to not drive distracted.

April is National Distracted Driving Month. This year, in cooperation with the “Click It or Ticket” enforcement day, drivers will be strongly encouraged to pay attention to the primary task of driving.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from driving, such as texting, eating, grooming, or even talking to other passengers in the vehicle.  All of these could be very dangerous. However, because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most deadly distraction.

“In 2013, 117 seat belt and six child restraint violations were issued statewide during this one day campaign,” said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “Wearing a seat belt can also be your best defense against distracted drivers.”

 For more information visit saveMOlives.com. You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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April 7, 2014

Can They See You? Don't Bet Your Life On It.

Motorists reminded to drive safely around big trucks.

JEFFERSON CITY – Commercial motor vehicles are an important part of our nation’s economy. They carry goods from coast to coast, and make up 20 percent of all traffic on Missouri’s interstates.

Crashes involving tractor trailers don’t happen very often, but when they do, the disproportionate size of truck versus car means those crashes can often involve serious injuries or worse. Research shows that in the majority of these crashes, drivers of passenger cars, especially young people, unnecessarily endanger themselves by not paying attention and driving recklessly around big rigs. That’s why it’s so important for all motorists to drive safely around big trucks.

There’s no room for taking chances around big rigs – they require big room. “We don’t want you to bet your life on it when it comes to safely moving around big trucks,” said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “Please pay attention.”

  • Don’t cut off large trucks or busses. Make sure you can see the top of the truck or bus in your rearview mirror before moving back into your original lane.
  • Stay out of the “No Zone”. Big rigs have large blind spots on either side and up to 200 feet behind a vehicle. Pass only on the left side. 
  • Watch your following distance. Keep a safety cushion around trucks.  Can you see the truck’s side mirrors? If not, the driver cannot see you.

“Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required by federal law to follow strict safety guidelines, including mandatory seat belt usage and hands-free cell phone devices,” said Colonel Ron Replogle, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Failure to do so can result in citations and can affect both the driver and company’s safety score.”

For additional information regarding roadway safety, or other transportation-related topics, contact the MoDOT Customer Service Center toll free, at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636). For more information on the Big Trucks Campaign, visit www.saveMOlives.com

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March 11, 2014

It's as Dangerous as Performing a Self-Appendectomy

Teen Seatbelt Campaign Reminds Teens of “Things That Could Kill You”

JEFFERSON CITY – After the long, cold Missouri winter most teens are anxious to shake off the cabin fever and enjoy some time outdoors. It could be a road trip for spring break, or just a drive into town to see some friends - but you can bet they’ll be out on the roadways in record numbers very soon.

That’s why the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants teens to think about how dangerous a car ride can be if they don’t buckle up. An element of this year’s teen seat belt campaign encourages teens to never do something as dangerous as performing a self- appendectomy or feeding a bear.  Most people would never put themselves at risk doing such things, but put themselves at risk every day when they ride in a vehicle and don’t buckle up.  

“’How to Live’ is a new teen seatbelt campaign that relates something completely crazy and dangerous to not wearing a seatbelt,” said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the coalition. “We are hoping teens will make the connection that being unbuckled is equally as dangerous.”

Only 67 percent of Missouri’s teens buckle up. To combat this low rate law enforcement will be out in full force March 15-31 to crack down on unbelted drivers and save lives. 

“Teens are most likely to follow by parental example,” said Depue. “Parents who buckle up on a regular basis have kids that make the same safe choice.”

One in four Missouri traffic crashes involves a young driver. In the last three years, 239 teens have died in Missouri traffic crashes. Seventy-seven percent of the teen occupants killed were not wearing their seat belts.

For more information visit saveMOlives.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.  Buckle up and ARRIVE ALIVE. 

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March 10, 2014

Don't Press Your Luck This St. Patrick's Day

Statewide Impaired Driving Crackdown Planned

JEFFERSON CITY, MO –If you choose to drive impaired this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, your luck will run out. More than 200 Missouri law enforcement agencies will take part in a special impaired driving crackdown that puts additional officers on the road March 14-17.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reminds motorists to “Choose Your Ride.” with special campaign messaging to designate a driver, call a cab, or the options can include a ride in a patrol car, or even worse – a hearse.

“Statewide, law enforcement made 412 DWI arrests during a similar campaign in March of 2013,” says Colonel Ron Replogle, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Officers are committed to removing impaired drivers from our roads.”

Throughout March, safety advertising in restaurants and bars across Missouri serve as reminders of the importance of choosing a completely sober ride, such as a taxi. However, the alternative options of a patrol car or a hearse are sobering reminders of the consequences of choosing the wrong ride.

Drinking and driving is a lethal combination. A person who causes a fatal crash while intoxicated, can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony resulting in up to seven years of prison time, a $5000 fine, or both. 

To learn more, visit the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety website at savemolives.com, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.

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January 27, 2014

Make Your Bowl Party SUPER – Designate a Driver

Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

JEFFERSON CITY – The Super Bowl is one of America’s most highly anticipated sports events, when friends and family gather in homes, bars and restaurants to celebrate. As Super Bowl Sunday approaches and football fans across the country prepare for the game, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind everyone to designate  a sober driver because – Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

“There were 198 people killed and 583 seriously injured on Missouri roadways in 2013 crashes involving a substance-impaired driver,” said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the coalition. “Before choosing to drink, choose your team’s MVP – a sober designated driver.” The coalition offers the following party plans to make sure you and your guests arrive home safely this Sunday night.

If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:  

  • Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins.If you don’t have a designated driver, then ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay for the night.Never let friends drive if they’re had too much to drink.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take the keys and help them make safe travel arrangements.

 

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party: 

  • Make sure all of your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternate transportation to ensure they get home safely.Serve food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.

 Make this year’s bowl party SUPER. Whether you have had one too many or are way over the limit, impaired driving is not worth causing a traffic crash, serious injury, or even death. Missouri law makes it clear that driving while impaired has serious consequences.  For more information on highway safety, go to saveMOlives.com. You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #saveMOlives, drivesoberMO and #ArriveAlive.

 December 3, 2013

Going Out Tonight? So Are We.

State Launches DUI Holiday Campaign

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The holiday rush is upon us, full of shopping and holiday parties at offices and homes across the state. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind those who plan to drink alcohol to designate a sober driver, or call a cab to avoid driving impaired. Statewide, law enforcement is on the lookout for impaired drivers, with targeted enforcement efforts Dec. 15, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014.

"We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season," says Leanna Depue, executive chair of the coalition. "So we are making a special effort to reach motorists with reminders to plan ahead with ads online and at locations where alcohol is served or sold." 

Throughout December, safety advertising in restaurants and bars will remind patrons to "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." Posters featuring a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper announce, "Going Out Tonight? So Are We." This simple message reminds drivers that law enforcement will be out in full force, and if they choose to drink and drive, they will be arrested.

Save MO Lives social media outlets will also be asking followers to post and tweet their safe ride home. Selected winners will receive Best Buy gift cards for their participation.

There are no excuses to drive impaired. The facts are known -- drinking and driving can be a lethal combination. The consequences are fines, jail time or even death.

Six people were killed and 46 seriously injured over the Christmas holiday 2012.  Three of the fatalities and eight of the serious injuries involved an impaired driver.

To learn more, visit savemolives.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives, #DriveSoberMO.

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October 28, 2013

Don't Turn Halloween Trick or Treat Into Tragedy

Sober Driving is the Safest Way to Get Home

JEFFERSON CITY - A safe and sober ride after the party is the best treat you can give yourself and everyone else on the road this Halloween. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind motorists that law enforcement will be out in full force cracking down on impaired drivers that haven't gotten the message to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

"Nationwide, Halloween is a particularly deadly holiday due to the high number of impaired drivers on the roads," said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the coalition. "In 2012, three people died and four were seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes over the Halloween holiday."

To avoid real-life Halloween horrors, remember the following:

•       Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.

•       Always designate a sober driver.

•       If you are impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

•       Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

•       If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.

•       If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take the keys and help them make safe travel arrangements.

With impaired driving, there's no trick and there's no treat. Whether you have had one too many or are way over the limit, impaired driving is not worth causing a traffic crash, serious injury, or even death. Missouri law makes it clear that driving while impaired has scary consequences. 

For more information on highway safety, go to saveMOlives.com. You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #saveMOlives, drivesoberMO and #ArriveAlive.

 

September 15, 2013

National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 20-26

Teens are reminded of safe driving tips

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri teens are settling into the fall routine of school and enjoying good times with friends. Trips to ball games or weekend fun is on their to-do list and they're on the road in record numbers. 

Unfortunately, too many teens still aren't following basic driver safety and the Graduated Driver License Law requirement of wearing a seat belt when they get behind the wheel or ride with others in motor vehicles.

Teen Driver Safety Week provides a unique opportunity to focus attention on this national problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of fatalities among teenagers in the United States. In 2012 there were 64 teen (15-19) vehicle occupants killed in Missouri traffic crashes, with 81 percent being unbelted. Eleven percent of the unbelted teens who were killed were also impaired drivers.

"Only 66 percent of Missouri's teens wear their seat belts," said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "So many of those tragedies could be prevented, if only teens would take the time to buckle up."

Teen drivers are more likely to drive distracted or substance-impaired than other drivers. Under Missouri law, drivers age 21 and under are banned from texting while driving and can be fined up to $200 for this offense. Missouri also has a Zero Tolerance Law, meaning if anyone under 21 is caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in their system their license will be suspended.

So as you get behind the wheel, please remember these simple safe driving tips:

•       Drive focused, without distraction of talking or texting on your cell phone.

•       Drive like you care. Follow the laws of the road.

•       Drive alert - substance-free and well-rested.

•       Buckle Up.  It's your best defense in any traffic crash.

For more information on teen driver safety, go to saveMOlives.com. You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #saveMOlives and #ArriveAlive.

 

September 12, 2013

Find the Safety Seat That Fits - Keep Your Kids Safe

Boost & Buckle to Arrive Alive

JEFFERSON CITY - National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 15-21. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to ensure all caregivers of young children know the importance of buckling children in an appropriate child restraint. Motorists can also expect increased enforcement of Missouri's child seat safety laws during this campaign.

In 2012, nine children in Missouri under age eight were killed and 92 suffered serious injuries as occupants in motor vehicle crashes in Missouri. Missouri law requires all children under eight to be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat, unless:

•       They are at least 80 pounds.

•       They are at least 4'9" tall.

"All parents and caregivers need to understand the importance of booster seats.  It's not just about following the law - booster seats help prevent serious injury and may even save your child's life," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee for the coalition.

When used correctly, child safety seats are 71 percent effective in preventing fatalities for infants and 54 percent effective for toddlers. Serious injuries can result from improperly fitted safety belts, particularly for children ages four through seven who are secured only in a regular safety belt during a crash. These injuries are commonly known as "seat belt syndrome," which are often life-threatening or disabling. Booster seats help prevent this syndrome from occurring by raising the child up so the lap and shoulder belt fits them properly.

Child safety seat technicians will provide education and car seat inspections at locations across Missouri. A list of car seat inspection stations and locations can be found at seatcheck.org. Appointments may be necessary.

"We are urging everyone to get their child safety seats inspected," said Depue. "When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes."

For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week, visit saveMOlives.com. You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #saveMOlives and #ArriveAlive.

 

September 3, 2013

Missouri High Schools Challenged to Buckle Up!

Safety BeltCampaign to Save Teen Lives

JEFFERSON CITY - Calling all Missouri high schools to compete in the 2013 Battle of the Belt Challenge for an opportunity to win cash and prizes for your school while educating young drivers about safety belt use.

Sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, this statewide competition will run October 1 to November 8. Cash prizes for schools will be donated by American Family Insurance. Award banners will be funded by the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians.

"Eight out of ten teens killed in Missouri vehicle crashes each year aren't buckled up," said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Through education, competition and fun, the Battle of the Belt Challenge can make a difference with Missouri teens and save lives."

Young drivers are overrepresented in crashes both nationwide and in Missouri. Although comprising only 10 percent of Missouri's licensed drivers, they are involved in more than 24 percent of the fatal and disabling injury crashes. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15-20 years old. Results of a 2012 survey among Missouri teens indicate 34 percent of teens are not wearing safety belts.

The program consists of two surprise seat belt checks at each high school to measure student seat belt usage before and after and educational campaign on the importance of safety belt use. In addition, schools have the opportunity to submit a 30-second video spot aimed at encouraging their peers to buckle up. Statewide and regional cash prizes are awarded to schools reaching high safety belt usage rates for use to further educate the students on the importance of safety belt use.

Schools achieving Highest Overall Seat Belt Use and Most Improved Seat Belt Use regionally will receive $500.00 donated by American Family Insurance to be used for future seat belt educational programs at the schools. Statewide recognition will be awarded with a banner for seat belt use donated by the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians. The top three winning 30-second video spots will also receive money to further seat belt educational programs at their schools.

The program was originally brought to southwest Missouri by the Missouri Emergency Nurses Association and St. John's Hospital. In 2006, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, in conjunction with American Family Insurance and the MO College of Emergency Room Physicians, took the competition statewide and continues to sponsor this year's program.

Sign up your local high school to take the Battle of the Belt Challenge by completing a participation agreement form online at saveMOlives.com before October 1.

You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #saveMOlives and #ArriveAlive.

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August 12, 2013

The Message is Clear - Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Missouri law enforcement to participate in national campaign.

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri state and local law enforcement agencies will participate in the national effort to deter substance-impaired driving by conducting statewide sobriety checkpoints and DWI saturation patrols Aug. 16 through Sept. 2.

Officers will focus on enforcement of Missouri's DWI laws and keep impaired drivers off the road. The strong enforcement presence reinforces the importance of driving sober and the legal consequences of ignoring that advice. Missourians will hear and see the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over messages during this statewide public awareness campaign.

"A drunk driving arrest could cost you thousands of dollars in fines, court costs and lawyers fees," said Leanna Depue, executive chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "If you're convicted of a DWI you could also lose your license, lose your job and even spend time behind bars." The message is clear - Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

The end of summer is always a busy travel time. Statewide, law enforcement made 714 DWI arrests during the impaired driving campaign in August and September of 2012.

Unfortunately, substance-impaired driving contributes to nearly 30 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities. We are all a part of the solution. Please consider the following tips:

•    Don't risk it - if you plan to drive, don't drink.
•    Encourage safe driving behaviors among family, friends and co-workers.
•    Choose a designated driver before partying.  A designated driver is someone who drinks NO alcohol at all.
•      Take mass transit, a taxicab or ask a friend to drive you home if you have no designated driver and no other means of transportation.
•      Party hosts should include alcohol-free beverages for    designated drivers.
•      Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
•      Always wear your safety belt - it's your best defense against an impaired driver.

If drivers choose to ignore the drive sober messages, there's a good chance they'll be stopped by law enforcement officers and ticketed. That's a tough experience, but it's much better than being arrested for causing a fatal crash.

In 2012 there were 230 people killed and 868 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one impaired driver.

To learn more about impaired driving and how you can Arrive Alive, visit saveMOlives.com, or follow social media at Save MO Lives, #drivesoberMO.

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July 1, 2013

Don't Lose Your Freedom by Driving Drunk

Law enforcement seeking impaired drivers.

JEFFERSON CITY - The Fourth of July is notorious for alcohol-impaired driving crashes. State and local law enforcement will be out in full force July 3-7 seeking impaired drivers through increased sobriety checkpoints and roving and saturation patrols.

The theme is straightforward, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. No warnings. No excuses. Those who drive impaired will be arrested. Don't risk losing your independence by choosing to drink and drive.

"Holidays need to be about family fun, not senseless tragedies caused by impaired driving," said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. There were four people killed and 21 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes over this holiday weekend in 2012. Two of the fatalities and five of the serious injuries involved an impaired driver.

Violators risk killing or harming others, face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety recommends these simple tips to avoid a drunk-driving disaster:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to call 911.
  • Always wear your seat belt. It's your best defense in any traffic crash.

For more information, visit saveMOlives.com, or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #saveMOlives and #drivesoberMO.

May 13, 2013

Law Enforcement Buckling Down on Those Not Buckling Up

Click It or Ticket - Day and Night

JEFFERSON CITY - As summer heats up, so does safety belt enforcement. Law enforcement officers are cracking down on unbelted drivers May 20-June 2 for an aggressive national "Click It or Ticket" campaign. 

Even with all the advancements in automobile safety and education on the importance of seat belt use, Missouri's seat belt use remains relatively unchanged at 79 percent, and consistently below the national average of 86 percent.

Through this campaign the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety will remind Missourians to buckle up, day and night, through state and national advertisements. 

"Fifty-three percent of Missouri fatalities since the first of the year have been unbuckled vehicle occupants," said Colonel Ron Replogle, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Seat belts clearly save lives. But unfortunately, too many folks still need a tough reminder, so we will be out enforcing a zero tolerance on those not buckling up."

In 2012, 394 people killed in traffic crashes were not wearing a safety belt.  

Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities in a crash because it provides protection from being ejected and keeps motorists from smashing into windshields, dashboards and other passengers. When worn correctly, seat belts can reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent.

"You are gambling with your life each time you drive without a safety belt," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Wearing a safety belt can save your life."

For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit http://www.savemolives.com/, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives. Arrive Alive.

 

April 30, 2013

Watch for Motorcycles - May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

JEFFERSON CITY -Motorcyclists and motorists are encouraged to safely "share the road" this May in observation of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. All motorists are reminded to watch for motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe, while motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists.  There were 276 motorcyclists killed from 2010-2012.

"We're seeing more and more motorcycles on the highways," said Leanna Depue, chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's executive committee. "Drivers of all vehicles need to be extra attentive. A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicle's blind spot. Everyone needs to watch for motorcycles."

Very often, drivers of cars and trucks don't see motorcycles until the last second. And sometimes not at all. Motorcycle operators have to anticipate the moves of other drivers and be extra cautious of road conditions and debris.

"Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too," Depue says. "They should follow the rules of the road, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear."

Motorcycle experts recommend motorcyclists also complete some type of training before getting out on the road. There are 29 training locations in Missouri. You can find the one nearest you at http://www.mmsp.org/.

For more information, visit http://www.savemolives.com/ or Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.  Arrive Alive.

April 23, 2013

Zero Tolerance, Zero Chances for Missouri Youth

JEFFERSON CITY - It's time to plan those annual high school prom and graduation parties.  Unfortunately, alcohol is often on the invite list as well. Missouri law enforcement want to make sure local youth are celebrating safe and sober, and will crack down on underage drunk driving May 2 - 13.

Youth make up a significant proportion of drunk drivers causing traffic crashes on Missouri roadways. From 2010-2012, there were 65 fatal crashes and 236 disabling injury crashes involving an impaired driver under 21.

Missouri has a Zero Tolerance Law. Persons under 21 who are caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in their system are subject to jail time, loss of driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Other financial hits include higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs; and in some cases, even death.

"It is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess or consume alcohol in Missouri," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Zero tolerance means zero chances."

Missouri Safe and Sober, sponsored in part by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to educating high school students on the dangers of alcohol and drugs, and preventing alcohol and drug related auto accidents. To date 152 Missouri high schools have participated and educated more than 76,000 students and their peers about the dangers of underage drinking and driving. To get your school involved in the next school year please visit http://www.missourisafeandsober.com/.

For more information, please visit http://www.savemolives.com/, or Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.         

March 11, 2013

Don't Rely on the Luck of the Irish This Holiday

JEFFERSON CITY, MO -As springtime greens up the landscape, and St. Patrick's Day greens up the beer, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reminds motorists to designate a driver or call a cab to avoid driving impaired. Law enforcement is on the lookout for impaired drivers with targeted efforts March 14-17.

"Statewide, law enforcement made 583 DWI arrests during the impaired driving campaign in August and September of 2012," says Leanna Depue, executive chair of the coalition. "These numbers show that law enforcement is committed to enforcing Missouri laws."

Throughout March, safety advertising in restaurants and bars across Missouri will remind patrons that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.  St. Pat's themed posters, mirror clings and coasters serve as reminders of the importance of driving completely sober. Facebook fans can also pledge to drive sober, and try their luck at a photo caption contest to win gift cards.

There are no excuses for driving impaired. Drinking and driving is a lethal combination. If you cause a fatal crash while intoxicated, you can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony resulting in up to seven years of prison time, a $5000 fine, or both.  Don't risk it.

To learn more, visit the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety website at savemolives.com, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.

March 6, 2013

Seat Belts Just Don't Click With Teens

JEFFERSON CITY - Under Missouri's Graduated Driver License Law, seat belt use is required for young drivers.  It is a primary offense. Unfortunately 34 percent of Missouri teens don't buckle up. To lower that percentage, law enforcement will be out in full force March 15-31 to crack down on unbelted drivers and save lives.

One in four Missouri traffic crashes involves a young driver. Between 2010 and 2012, 243 teens (15-19) were killed in traffic crashes. Of those killed, 78 percent were unbuckled.

"Many drivers take the attitude that ‘it will never happen to me,' especially teens, but fatal crashes happen every day to all types of people," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.  "Law enforcement will ticket teens who aren't buckled up."

Missouri will also continue to educate teens on the importance of buckling up through statewide seat belt programs, such Battle of the Belt and Team Spirit.

"The best way to reach teens is through their peers," said Depue. "We're asking teens to help save the lives of their friends by reminding them to buckle up every time they get in a car."

For more information visit saveMOlives.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.  Buckle up and ARRIVE ALIVE.

November 27, 2012

Don't Drive if You're Tipsy, Buzzed or Blitzen

JEFFERSON CITY, MO –Calendars are quickly filling with festive social gatherings and parties. During this hustle and bustle time, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reminds motorists designate a driver or call a cab and avoid driving impaired. Law enforcement is on the lookout for impaired drivers, with targeted enforcement efforts Dec. 10-16.

“Drinking and driving is never a good combination. It’s just not worth the risk,” says Leanna Depue, executive chair of the coalition. “If you’re going to drink, plan another way home before the celebration begins, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.”

Throughout December, safety advertising in restaurants and bars will remind patrons to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Santa’s reindeer adorn restroom posters, mirror clings and drink coasters with a “Don’t Drive if You’re Tipsy, Buzzed or Blitzen” message. These lively little reindeer are a creative reminder of the importance of driving completely sober.

There are no excuses to drive impaired. The facts are known - drinking and driving is a lethal combination. The consequences can be fines, jail time, or even death. In December 2011, 67 people died and 456 were seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes. Seventeen of those fatalities and 69 of serious injuries involved an impaired driver. 

To learn more, visit the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety website at savemolives.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.

 

November 15, 2012

Give Thanks for Safe Travels This Holiday

Motorists Urged to Travel Safely.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO -The Thanksgiving holiday is usually one of travel and cheer. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous time on Missouri roads. During the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday there were 1372 traffic crashes, and four fatalities on Missouri's roadways.

"The sheer number of crashes, injuries and deaths during this holiday are startling enough, but worse yet, most of those deaths and injuries could have been prevented," said Leanna Depue, executive chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "With more people traveling, the possibility for traffic incidents increases, but there are many things motorists can do to keep themselves safer on the roads."

Before you head to Thanksgiving dinner, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety urges you to plan your safe travel ahead of time. With increased traffic and hurried travelers, safety needs to your top priority. You can make your holiday travel safer by following these tips:

•·       Plan your trip. MoDOT has expanded and upgraded its Traveler Information mobile app.  This app offers the latest information on Missouri road conditions, work zones, flooding and incidents for iPhones, Androids, iPads and tablets. 

•·       Buckle Up. The use of safety belts and child restraints is one of the best ways to prevent death and personal injury when involved in a traffic crash.

•·       Don't Drive Distracted. Concentrate only on your driving and pay close attention to motorists around you.

•·       Obey the laws of the road. Speeding is a contributing factor of the fatal and personal injury crashes during the holidays.

•·       Don't drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you plan to drink, designate a driver, or call a cab.

For additional information on roadway safety, visit saveMOlives.com, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Arrive Alive.

 

October 31, 2012

Blueprint to Save More Lives Rolls out New Fatality Goal

JEFFERSON CITY - Focusing on fatality reduction, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety boldly rolled out a new goal of 700 or fewer fatalities by 2016 at the Blueprint to Save More Lives Conference held in Branson. In addition to the aggressive new goal, the group pledged to work toward an eventual goal of zero roadway deaths. 

"We've been very successful in meeting our goals since the inception of the coalition", said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "We're all committed and we will work very hard toward the new goal."

Missouri is one of nine states able to boast of six straight years of declining fatality totals.  It is one of ten states that experienced more than a 35 percent reduction in fatalities between 2005 and 2011, and one of three states with more than 2,000 fewer traffic fatalities since 2005. Missouri is also the only state in the nation to have achieved all three of these accomplishments.

National keynote speakers engaged conference attendees with messages to educate and enlighten them on highway safety initiatives. Workshops offered included distracted driving, impaired driving, occupant protection, older drivers, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycle safety, pedestrians and young drivers.

Highway Safety Heroes were recognized with an awards luncheon which honored prestigious statewide and regional awards to those who have substantially advanced highway safety in Missouri.

Statewide award recipients were as follows:

•Lay Down the Law Award - Sgt. Dan Crain, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I, Rolla.
•Show-Me Safety Award - Dr. Lori Popejoy, University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, Columbia.
•Tempe Humphrey Award - Pamella Holt, Mercy Hospital, Springfield.
•Arrive Alive Award - Joe Rickman, MoDOT, Springfield.

Regional award recipients were as follows:

•Northwest Region Arrive Alive Award - Northwest Missouri Regional Road Safety Audit Program.
•Northwest Region Show-Me Safety Award - Richard Bradley, St. Joseph Police Department.
•Northeast Region Arrive Alive Award - Chief Ed Bogue, City of Palmyra Police Department.
•Northeast Region Show-Me Safety Award - Tana Akright, MoDOT.
•Kansas City Region Arrive Alive Award - William "Rusty" James, MoDOT.
•Kansas City Region Show-Me Safety Award - Think First of Greater Kansas City Young Traffic Offenders Program.
•Central Region Arrive Alive Award - Matt Myers, SAIC.
•Central Region Show-Me Safety Award - ThinkFirst Missouri.
•St. Louis Region Arrive Alive Award - Highway Safety Unit, St. Louis County Police Department.
•Southwest Region Arrive Alive Award - Peggy D. Davis, DWI Court Commissioner, Greene County.
•Southwest Region Show-Me Safety Award - Rollover Crash Display, Southwest Coalition Executive Team.
•Southeast Region Arrive Alive Award - Lt. John Davis, Cape Girardeau Police Department.
•Southeast Region Show-Me Safety Award - Courtnie Glenn, Wright County Health Department.

Historically, the Blueprint identified strategies having the greatest potential to save more lives and reduce serious injuries. In 2012, the strategies are known as the Necessary Nine. Aggressive implementation of the Necessary Nine represents the greatest opportunity to save more lives. By passing a primary safety belt law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 63 additional lives would be saved each year. Expanding the number of miles of shoulders with rumble stripes, as well as the number of curves with safety improvements, should also lead to more lives being saved.  

For more information on Missouri's Blueprint to SAVE MORE LIVES, go to saveMOlives.com. ARRIVE ALIVE.

   


For media questions, contact:

Kelly Jackson

kelly.jackson@modot.mo.gov

Facebook: www.facebook.com/saveMOlives

Twitter: @saveMOlives

Instagram #saveMolives

 

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