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Local police join statewide crackdown on unsafe driving along I-44 corridor
WAYNESVILLE/SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Oct. 17, 2009) — Area residents driving tonight have likely already seen a stepped-up police presence in and near Interstate 44.

According to press releases issued earlier this month by both Waynesville Police Chief Bob Carter and Sgt. Butch Hohman, St. Robert’s head of traffic enforcement, the two agencies are involved in a statewide crackdown along the Interstate 44 corridor on drivers who don’t wear their seat belts, speed, or are impaired by alcohol, drugs or other substances.

Known as “The Heat is On,” the enforcement effort will span the Interstate 44 corridor cracking down on unsafe driving “and reminding drivers to be safe out there,” Carter said in a prepared statement. “We will be out in full force to remind drivers to slow down, buckle up and never drive impaired.”

Hohman’s press release indicated that the enforcement effort began at 6 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and will end at 6 a.m. on Sunday. Results of the enforcement operation will be forthcoming, Hohman said.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials said more programs are planned next week, which from Oct. 18 to 24 is both “Teen Safe Driver Week” and “Operation Safe Driver” week.

The Teen Safe Driver Week features efforts to get teenagers to “slow down, buckle up and never drink and drive,” as well as encouraging parents to “model responsible driving behaviors.”

Operation Safe Driver is targeted at commercial motor vehicle drivers. MoDOT officials stated that the number of fatal commercial motor vehicle crashes fell 19 percent from 2006 to 2008, but they’d like to see it drop further.

“Missourians are doing a great job sharing the road,” according to a MoDOT press release. “Operation Safe Driver Week … brings awareness to the importance of commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle safety. During the week, law enforcement agencies turn a keen eye toward the driving behavior of passenger cars and commercial trucks.”

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