November 8, 2018
Top of the Page
Safety belt usage continues to rise
Missouri's annual survey reveals 87.1 percent usage

Safety belt usage in Missouri has climbed to its highest rate ever. The latest Missouri Seat Belt Usage Survey, which has been taken annually since 1998, shows 87.1 percent of Missourians use a safety belt. In 1998, that figure was 60 percent.

Missouri is nearing the national average which is 89.7 percent.

"We've seen a 5.7 percent increase in usage in the past two years alone," said Jon Nelson, executive committee chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "We've increased educational efforts through the Buckle Up Phone Down program statewide, and the survey results show those messages are being heard. Since inception, more than 5,600 individuals and 430 businesses have taken the BUPD pledge to always wear their safety belts, and put their phones down while driving."

With 61 percent of Missouri's traffic crash fatalities in 2017 involving an unbelted driver or passenger, this increase could result in many lives saved.

Observers recorded data from 560 sites within 28 Missouri counties on more than 135,000 vehicle occupants. The report showed vehicle passengers and females were more commonly belted, and that occupants of sport utility vehicles and minivans also had a higher rate of safety belt usage at 86.5 percent.

Pickup truck drivers and passengers had the lowest usage rate at 71 percent.

 "With more than 90 percent of traffic crashes attributed to human error, we know most are preventable. However, a safety belt is your best defense in a vehicle crash," said Nelson. "Buckle up and never drive distracted or impaired."

Missouri is one of only 15 states with only a secondary safety belt law. To date, 58 Missouri cities and two counties have adopted their own primary safety belt ordinances to protect their citizens.

For more information regarding roadway safety, visit
Take the challenge: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your seat belt. If you are a driver, put the cell phone down. Join the 5,621 individuals and 432 businesses who have joined the movement so far.

Click below to accept the challenge!

Social Media
Have You Seen This?
Click to watch a new BUPD video; you're sure to recognize a few faces..
BUPD Day a success

Gov. Mike Parson proclaimed Friday, Oct. 19, as Buckle Up Phone Down Day in Missouri. 

The BUPD campaign tackles two of the most effective actions drivers can take to stay safe when getting behind the wheel - fastening their safety belts and putting down their cell phones. Over 500 individuals and businesses joined the movement during this special event. 

Have you taken the challenge? Join the movement.
National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week is Nov. 11-17

Emergency responders face potential dangers every day. As a reminder, the Federal Highway Administration has declared the week of Nov. 11-17 as National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week.

MoDOT and its safety partners remind motorists to move over when approaching MoDOT, law enforcement, fire, Emergency Medical Services, towing vehicles and any other emergency vehicle with lights flashing.

"Working on the side of the highway is a dangerous place," said MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger. "Our partners in law enforcement, fire, EMS and the tow industry work together to clear incidents, but we need the help of motorists. Move over when you see responders on the road and give them extra space to work."

In an average month, MoDOT emergency response personnel respond to approximately 5,900 traffic incidents. In the past 10 years, MoDOT has had three emergency response employees killed while working incidents on the road. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic incidents are the number one cause of death for police officers and EMS responders nationwide. Each year hundreds of emergency responders representing fire, law enforcement, EMS, towing and transportation agencies are struck and either injured or killed while responding to traffic incidents.  Read more here.  
Safer Roadways
Watch for deer on the roadway

October and November are peak months for deer to be on the move, and MoDOT is reminding drivers to be prepared and not drive distracted.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car and deer crashes in the United States cause almost 200 deaths and $1.1 billion in damages each year.

In 2017, there were 4,111 crashes involving deer in Missouri, resulting in 389 injuries and seven fatalities. Five of the fatalities and 34 percent of the injuries took place in October and November.

Deer are most active at dusk and dawn and do unpredictable things, such as stopping in the middle of the road when crossing. A deer that is calmly standing on the side of the road may suddenly leap into traffic.

MoDOT offers the following safety tips for avoiding collisions with deer:
  • Always wear your safety belt. It's easy: Buckle Up Phone Down.
  • Control your speed, stay alert and avoid distracted driving.
  • Don't swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Swerving can cause motorists to lose control and travel off the road or into oncoming traffic.
  • Deer rarely travel alone. Slow down and keep an eye out for more deer. If a deer crosses the road in front of you, there is a good chance another deer will be following it.
  • Don't follow too closely. Remember: the driver in front of you might have to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer.
MoDOT maintenance crews remove dead deer that pose a safety hazard, meaning that they are in the driving or passing lane, or partially in either lane or on the shoulder.

Motorists can call 1-888-ASK-MODOT to report the location of a dead deer on the highway.
Fatality update

Did you know... There were 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roadways during 2017 - a 1.8 percent decrease from 37,806 people killed in 2016. 

Nationwide, fatalities decreased from 2016 to 2017 in almost all segments of the population, with the exception of crashes involving large trucks and SUV's. - NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis. 
Statewide Fatality Totals 
as reported on the 
Missouri State Highway Patrol 
website as of Nov. 4, 2018: 

2018 Totals as of 11-4-18 - 779
2017 Totals as of 11-4-17 - 777
2016 Totals as of 11-4-16 - 810
2015 Totals as of 11-4-15 - 726
2015 Totals as of 11-4-15 - 623
2013 Totals as of 11-4-13 - 642
Did You Know This?
Statewide winter weather drill 

Yesterday, MoDOT tested its readiness to plow snow for the upcoming winter season with a statewide drill.
"The annual drill helps to make sure we all know our roles during a winter storm so we can do our jobs successfully," said State Maintenance Engineer Becky Allmeroth. "More than 3,500 MoDOT employees are involved in ensuring we clear roads and bridges as quickly as possible when winter weather hits."

During the drill, MoDOT employees reacted to a simulated forecast of significant snow for the entire state. The department's emergency operations centers activated and maintenance employees were deployed to their trucks. Emergency communications systems were also tested.

The drill serves as a training reminder to make sure proper equipment, plowing techniques and safety measures are used. In addition, every piece of equipment - every truck, motor grader, snow blower, and tractor - is inspected.

"Careful planning and preparation mean our crews can mobilize when needed, and our equipment will be ready," said Allmeroth.

Allmeroth said one of the most valuable parts of the drill is that it allows MoDOT's newest employees the opportunity to drive a snowplow over their designated routes so they are aware of obstacles and obstructions, such as curbs and raised islands, that might be hidden in snow or ice.

MoDOT spends about $43 million each year to keep roads clear in the winter and help ensure motorists get to their destinations safely and quickly. In an average winter, MoDOT employees plow about 6 million miles of snow and ice, which is enough to go to the moon and back 13 times.

For information on road conditions across the state, safe traveling tips, and other winter weather information, visit

MoDOT is now hiring seasonal and full time maintenance employees.

If you're looking for diverse opportunities, challenging work and family friendly environment, come join a dynamic team working to support the finest Department of Transportation in America. Click here.
Hereford Inlet Light. Photo from Wikipedia.
This day in transportation history

Nov. 8, 1873 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction on a new lighthouse on southeastern New Jersey's coast. The Hereford Inlet Light, which was completed less than five months later, served as a navigational aid for the region until being decommissioned in 1964.
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270