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On March 20, 2014, Colonel Ronald K. Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol pledged his organization's participation in the "Drive To Save Lives" campaign at a kick-off press conference held in conjunction with the International Association of Chiefs of Police mid-year conference in New Orleans, LA.

The "Drive To Save Lives" campaign is a national effort to reduce traffic deaths nationwide by 15% by the end of 2014.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has branded the Missouri campaign "Drive To Zero Highway Deaths," and will continue its current education and enforcement campaigns, which have been so successful in reducing traffic deaths in the state of Missouri in recent years. In addition, the Patrol will work with other states to help reach the common goal of "Drive To Save Lives" nationwide.

Missouri experienced 758 traffic fatalities in 2013. This is a 39 percent decrease from the 1,257 fatalities recorded in 2005. Over the past seven years, with the exception of 2012's slight increase, the number of traffic deaths has dropped each year. Historically, this past year is only the second time (2011 being the first) since 1949 that Missouri has experienced less than 800 traffic fatalities. Not only have traffic deaths decreased, but the total number of traffic crashes has decreased. While the crash statistics for 2013 are not available currently, we do know from 2005 to 2012 the total of all Missouri traffic crashes decreased over 21%. Thus far for 2014, Missouri is experiencing a zero percent decrease in highway deaths compared to the same time period in 2013.

"This is an important trend that the Patrol would like to see continue," said Col. Replogle. "Every trooper is committed to working with other agencies to further reduce the number of traffic deaths in our state and nationally. We believe education and enforcement encourage safe driving, which results in fewer traffic fatalities. I want to thank the public for helping to make our highways safer."

Of the 758 people killed in traffic crashes in 2013, 63% of those required to be restrained were not at the time of the crash. The Patrol encourages motorists to protect themselves by making sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Click It 4 Life!!!

The Missouri State Highway Patrol urges motorists to continue to do their part to "Drive To Zero Highway Deaths." Motorists should be courteous drivers. When in doubt, yield the right-of-way. Drivers should stay alert, obey all traffic laws, make sure everyone in the vehicle uses a seat belt or child restraint, and never drive drunk. Missourians can help further by reporting dangerous drivers to the Patrol’s Emergency Report Line at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone.