COLUMBIA — Intense SEC rivalries can be divisive for fans, but highway patrols from SEC states have united to send a pro-safety message in a new public service announcement.
“No matter where you travel, the rules of the game are the same,” a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer says in the 31-second public service announcement by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The announcement, which will be shown before home football games at MU, reminds drivers to wear seatbelts, follow the speed limit, drive sober and ignore distractions on the road.
It is a joint effort between the Missouri State Highway Patrol and patrols from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
Missouri troopers created the announcement in anticipation of an increase in travel in the state because of MU’s move to the Southeastern Conference, said John Hotz, assistant director for the patrol’s public education and information division.
“We thought that we would try to utilize all the excitement and buzz around Mizzou moving to the SEC,” Hotz said. “We thought this would be a good way to emphasize driving safely while using that excitement.”
The maximum speed limit in every SEC state is 70 mph. The only exception is an almost 200-mile portion of I-49 in Louisiana where the speed limit is 75 mph.
Data on the state highway patrol website shows the number of traffic fatalities in Missouri increased by 9 percent this year after decreasing each of the previous five years.
Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.