Construction zones on any roadway are inherently dangerous for all involved. But Missouri Highway Patrol officers from Troop C, which is the team that covers , and the , want all residents and travelers to especially slow down in the while everyone makes their ways through the Fourth of July week.
History has shown the July Fourth holiday typically is one of the most heavily traveled holidays during the calendar year.
"Local Eureka area drivers have gotten used to the lane changes and drops on I-44, so traffic overall seems to be flowing pretty well," said Missouri Highway Patrol Troop C Trooper Justin Wheetly.
"But 80 percent of all the crashes in Missouri are caused from distracted driving. Speeding is the second leading cause of crashes. We're here at I-44 today to encourage everyone to take things slower this week because there is the potential of traffic flow doubling due to the holiday."
Wheetley and fellow trooper Al Northum were drawing attention to a Highway Patrol initiative through which patrol officers will be positioned every 3 miles for 20-mile stretches along Interstates 44 and 70 between now and Sunday. Over the past few years, it's become known as the 20-Mile Trooper project.
The troopers' goals are to reduce injuries and avoid fatality crashes, and to aggressively enforce traffic laws during this heavily traveled period of time.
"Work zones are more dangerous due to the restricted space. There is not a lot of room for error," said Northum.
He said officers would like drivers to keep more distance between themselves and surrounding cars this week in construction zones. "The person in front of you may need to take evasive actions, and you need the time and distance between you to react."