The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


Published June 27, 2018

MSHP: Make safety a priority

LAKE OF THE OZARKS – The Missouri State Highway Patrol is advising safety as a priority on the Fourth of July holiday period.

The 2018 counting period for the July Fourth holiday will be from 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, to 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, July 4, a 30-hour counting period.

Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) reminds the public that the Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest boating holidays of the year.

In 2017, there were nine boating crashes which included three injuries and one fatality.

One person drowned during last year's July Fourth holiday. Troopers made 23 boating while intoxicated arrests in 2017.

Troopers will be working on the Lake of the Ozarks and on the state’s waterways to enforce Missouri’s boating laws and assist where needed.

Missouri’s boaters are asked to do their part by remaining alert for other boats and swimmers and being courteous on the water.

With more boats on the water, it is even more important to pay attention when operating your vessel.

Boaters need to be aware that it is illegal to discharge fireworks from a vessel. Leave all fireworks in a safe place on shore.

While enjoying their time on the water the MSHP wants people to remember the following tips:
• Distractions and alcohol consumption slow reaction time.
• Pay attention to other boats and watercraft.
• Make evasive maneuvers early and deliberately.
• Be responsible with your wake.

The many firework displays after dark attract many more boaters at night. At night, remember to:

• Check your vessel’s navigation lights before heading out and be sure to have spare bulbs on board.
• Avoid overloading your boat with too many passengers. This can cause the boat to become swamped and affect the handling of the boat.
• Observe Missouri’s nighttime speed limit of 30 miles per hour on the water.
• Slow down and take your time. Nighttime crashes tend to involve more serious injuries and damage, due to the lack of visibility.

“July Fourth weekend is a great opportunity to gather with friends and family,” said Col. Karsten. “Whether you’re on the road or on the water, please stay alert and obey the law. Always wear your seat belt every time you’re in a vehicle and your life jacket every time you’re in a vessel. If your celebration includes alcohol, designate a sober chauffeur every time."

The warning for safety also applies to the roads.

Many people will travel somewhere to enjoy the many recreational opportunities in the state. No matter what you plan for the holiday period, you can choose to follow all Missouri traffic laws.

During the 102-hour counting period in 2017, 26 people were killed and 469 injured in Missouri over the holiday in 1,076 traffic crashes.

Over the 2017 July Fourth holiday, troopers arrested 172 people for driving while intoxicated.

The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the July Fourth holiday period. All available officers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways enforcing Missouri’s traffic laws in addition to being available to assist motorists.

The MSHP has the following recommendations:

• There is never a good reason to drive over the speed limit.
• Remember: Statutes direct motorists to drive with the highest degree of care.
• Please be a courteous driver and follow all traffic laws.
• Never drink and drive and always use a seat belt!

Motorists who need assistance or who witness criminal activity while traveling on Missouri’s roadways can contact the nearest Highway Patrol troop headquarters by calling the Patrol Emergency Report Line at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. Motorists may call 1-888-275-6636 to check for road construction along their travel route.

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