JEFFERSON CITY, MO - In a tribute to lives impacted by impaired driving crashes, victims, victims' families and friends, safety groups and state leaders joined together in remembrance and resolve to prevent these needless tragedies.
"The Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages everyone to keep safety in mind while traveling this holiday season and throughout the year," stated Colonel Ron Replogle. "Please drive with the highest degree of care and if you choose to celebrate the holidays with alcohol, be sure to plan for alternate transportation or a designated driver. No one wants to remember the holiday season as a time when they have lost a loved one due to this preventable tragedy."
While fatalities in Missouri have decreased by 31 percent since 2005, impaired driving fatalities have remained steady, contributing to more than 30 percent of all fatalities. Over the past five years, 1,394 Missourians have been killed in impaired driving crashes.
Those that are killed leave behind family, friends and loved ones who are haunted by their loss. But, not everyone is killed in a crash. Some are injured and their physical wounds heal with time; some suffer permanent and disabling injuries. Some victims have difficulty overcoming the emotional and psychological impact of the crash. All are changed forever. In 2009, 281 people were killed, 1,141 seriously injured and 3,719 received minor injuries in impaired driving crashes.
The memorial event serves as an opportunity to remember those who have been killed or injured in impaired driving crashes and to remind others of the importance of driving sober not only this holiday season but always.
"Together, we remember. Together, we can make a difference by exercising personal responsibility and making the right choice - to drive sober," said Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Safety Director Leanna Depue.
To learn more about impaired driving or other safety programs, visit saveMOlives.com.
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