How the highway patrol strengthens efforts during the fourth of July

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri is one of the top ten deadliest states in the nation over the fourth of July.

Our Melanie Chapman rode along with with a state trooper who explains how they strengthen efforts to keep the roads and waters safe.

John Lueckenhoff, Missouri state patrol sergeant, has been with the state highway patrol 24-years.

During his more than two decades patrolling the roadways he’s seen a lot of tragedies that could have been prevented. “We know people are going to celebrate…some people are going to celebrate using alcohol if that’s your choice okay. But what we ask is make sure you’ve got a designated driver. Make sure you don’t get behind the wheel of your car or your boat once you’ve been drinking.”

Statistics show 60 percent of those killed on the highways so far this year were not wearing their seat belts.

Lueckenhoff and other law enforcers will be out on the roads and waters with extra manpower we’re going to have every available trooper who can work at least one extra road shift during this holiday.

Luekenhoff says its always tragic but it seems extra sad when it happens during a holiday. “If you think about it from the families perspective everything that the families are going through. Every fourth of July that’s going to be the memory…that’s when we lost our loved one.”

State troopers want to remind the public that they’re not just out looking for those who may be violating the law, they’re also looking for those that may be in distress.

The goal is make this fourth of July celebration a memorable one for all those travelers. A happy memory of celebrating our independence with family and loved ones.

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