As the New Year's holiday weekend approaches, it's a time for celebration but it's also a time to remember road safety.

As the New Year's holiday weekend approaches, it's a time for celebration but it's also a time to remember road safety.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), over last year's New Year's holiday counting period, eight people died and 302 people were injured in 539 traffic crashes. Statistically, someone was killed or injured every 15.1 minutes during the counting period.
Lt. Mike Sharp, Neosho Police Department, offered advice for Neosho residents who plan to be out and about over the New Year's holiday weekend.
"Obviously, our first tip is to plan ahead and be safe," Sharp said. "We would like to remind people to be responsible and if they do choose to drink, to make arrangement for transportation or a designated driver. We will obviously be very watchful for offenders and do our best to keep our roadways safe."
The Missouri State Highway Patrol states that the only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens. Remember that every occupant of any vehicle is properly restrained with a seat belt or age appropriate child restraint.
"Every day that we travel on Missouri's roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober," said a spokesman for the MSHP.
That's part of the Don't Violate The Trust safety program introduced in 2016, aimed at both teen and adult drivers. The premise is that Missouri drivers can be trusted not to get behind the wheel impaired and not to violate the trust of other drivers.
With weather forecasts calling for extreme cold and the possibility of snow, allow extra time for travel or make plans flexible. Staying home, depending on the weather conditions might be the best option. The Road Condition Report number is 1-888-275-6636. A road condition map is also available on The Missouri Department of Transportation website, located at
Another reminder from the MSHP is that if the windshield wipers are on, the headlights must also be  turned on, per Missouri Law. It takes a second to turn on headlights and that second can make drivers more visible to other motorists, possibly preventing a traffic crash.
Sharp also said, "We look forward to the new year and would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday."
Motorists should expect increased law enforcement officers on the road statewide as well as locally.
In short, buckle up and don't drink and drive.