COLUMBIA — More law enforcement officers will be patrolling Friday for speeding, unbuckled seat belts and impaired driving on Interstate 70 for 24 hours beginning at 6 a.m., according to a press release from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.
The I-70 patrol is the first part of the three-month Heat Is On campaign, through which officers aim to prevent summertime travel accidents. According to the Arrive Alive website, for the past four years, the highest number of fatal vehicular accidents occurred between July and September. In 2009, 239 people were killed and 1,847 sustained debilitating injuries.
"I think efforts by law enforcement to make the public aware that these laws are going to be enforced and educate them about what can happen when they drive impaired ... is a good program," said Maj. Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
The goal of the project is to decrease yearly fatalities to 850 or fewer by 2012, Leanna Depue, executive committee chairwoman of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, wrote in a news release.
In addition to increased traffic enforcement, the campaign will feature radio advertisements and Internet videos about safe driving.
The next statewide efforts will be September 18 to 19 on Interstate 44 and throughout the summer on areas of Interstate 270.