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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Implementing a Travel Safe Zone

Monday, MoDOT implemented a Travel Safe Zone on eastbound I-64 between Mason Road and Ballas Road.

MoDOT implements Travel Safe Zones on those stretches of highway that significantly exceed the number of crashes with fatalities or disabling injuries when compared with similar highways with comparable traffic counts. The department uses a formula to determine a crash rate, based on the length of the stretch of highway, the number of crashes and the daily traffic on that highway.

In this case, there were 443 crashes over the last three years on eastbound I-64 in this area, including 180 crashes in 2008. Of those 443 crashes in the past three years, there were nine major crashes. In those nine major crashes, there were four fatalities and 33 people who received disabling injuries. Additionally, 295 of the 443 crashes were rear-end crashes, primarily during the day when the road was dry and the sky was clear. This tends to indicate excessive speed along the route, or distracted driving.

One of the public concerns we have heard about the Travel Safe Zone is that it is at the request of the local municipalities to increase their revenues. This is completely false – MoDOT initiated the Travel Safe Zone and MoDOT gets NO money from traffic tickets written along state routes. This is truly a safety issue. Our hope is to have people increase their safety awareness in this area, slow down and pay attention.

Currently, this Travel Safe Zone will remain in operation for a year.