June 16, 2011

Troop B Reporting Fewer Crashes, But More Fatalities In 2011

A 16-year-old Huntsville girl was killed on May 27th in an ATV accident in Randolph County, bringing the total to 14 fatalities on Missouri roads in the Troop B district of the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 2011.

Overall, the number of traffic accidents in 2011 has significantly declined in the first five months of the year.

Unfortunately the number of fatalities has not followed suit. In 2010, there were six vehicle accident deaths in Troop B through May, compared to 14 already in 2011, including three fatalities in May. Macon County has been hit the hardest, with three fatal crashes in 2011. Linn, Lewis, Clark and Adair counties have all recorded two traffic fatalities in 2011.

The Highway Patrol investigated 102 traffic accidents across Troop B's 15 counties in May. That was down from 121 last year. Overall in 2011, the Patrol has investigated 432 crashes, compared to 561 such investigations through the first five months of 2010.

Scotland County has the fewest crash investigations in 2011, with the Patrol working just seven vehicle accidents in the first five months. That is down from 10 during the same time period in 2010.

Ralls County has the highest total in Troop B with 49 crash investigations performed by the Patrol, followed closely by Marion County with 48 and Macon County with 47.

Clark County and Putnam County, along with Marion County all have experienced a higher number of accidents in 2011. Troopers have worked 27 crashes in Clark County and 18 in Putnam County.

Lewis County witnessed the largest decline, with the Patrol investigating 34 crashes in 2011, compared to 63 through the first five months in 2010. Sullivan County saw its crash totals drop from 42 last year to 23 thus far in 2011 and Randolph County is down from 66 to 43.

With one of the busiest holidays for Missouri's highways fast approaching, Captain James E. Wilt, commanding officer of Troop B, Macon, announced Troop B officers will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. during the 2011 July Fourth holiday weekend.

Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) is a national traffic enforcement program aimed at making holiday weekends safer.

During this enforcement operation, all available troopers will be assigned to patrol Missouri highways, not only aggressively enforcing traffic laws, but also to be available in the event motorists experience any type of emergency. In addition to Operation C.A.R.E., Troop B officers will participate in a "20-Mile Trooper" enforcement operation on Friday, July 1, 2011, and Monday, July 4, 2011.

During this added enforcement operation, which will be conducted on U.S. Highways 24, 36, and 61 throughout the Troop B area, troopers will be stationed in 20-mile intervals to provide additional manpower during the peak travel days of the holiday period. Also, sometime during the holiday period, a DWI saturation will be held in Monroe and Ralls counties.

"We expect many motorists to be travelling throughout Missouri over this holiday period," stated Captain Wilt. "Our goal is very simple; we want everyone to arrive at their destination safely. Please obey all traffic laws, ensure that everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained, and never drink and drive."

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