Highway Safety Even More Important During Pandemic

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In these trying times of the coronavirus pandemic, the emergency room is the last place you want to find yourself. That’s why the Missouri Department of Transportation is sending a strong message that now, more than ever, it’s vitally important to drive safely and obey the rules of the road.

MoDOT officials and their law enforcement partners, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said they are seeing an increase in speeding due to lower traffic volumes as a result of COVID-19. In fact, in a recent test of a section of rural I-70, there were more than twice as many incidences of speeds over 80 mph this year as compared to last year. And, just last week alone, MoDOT vehicles were struck three times by drivers who were not paying attention to the task at hand.

“As with preventing the spread of COVID-19, personal responsibility is key to safe driving and ensuring that everyone arrives alive,” said Nicole Hood, MoDOT state highway safety and traffic engineer. “Please do your part to make our roadways safer and not add to the workload of our already overburdened healthcare providers. Pay attention, drive sober, obey the speed limit, buckle up and put your phone down.”

Hood also said drivers should not be fooled into thinking that law enforcement is not watching.

“Our law enforcement partners are continuing to enforce the rules of the road, and they will ticket you for traffic violations,” Hood said.

Despite the fact that traffic volumes across the country are down approximately 40%, many vehicles are still traveling the state’s roadways. Trucks continue to carry much needed supplies, essential workers must maintain their work schedules and MoDOT is keeping vital transportation projects and essential state highway maintenance operations moving.

“Approximately 100 people per day die in crashes on our nation’s roadways - nearly three in Missouri,” Hood said. “Don’t be one of them. Please drive safely and do your part to save lives on Missouri roadways. Don’t add to the stress of a healthcare system that is already taxed dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.”

For more information related to highway safety, visit the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety website at savemolives.com.

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