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Winter Driving Safety

Local law enforcement respond to numerous accidents today as one of the first wintry weather events of the season hits the Four States.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Local law enforcement respond to numerous accidents today as one of the first wintry weather events of the season hits the Four States. The Joplin Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol say most of the accidents happened on bridges where the roads typically ice first. Local law enforcement want to remind drivers to take extra caution over these types of roadways, especially during inclement weather, and with one of the busiest traveling periods coming up this holiday weekend. Monday morning's spurt of wintry weather caused several cars to slide off roadways in Jasper and Newton counties.

 "I know the ones I responded to and talking with other troopers, the majority were people driving too fast for the conditions on the road," said Sgt. Mike Watson, Missouri State Highway Patrol. 

Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers responded to about two dozen different crashes in both counties from about 7 to 9 Monday morning.

"It's just kinda that short window where we had a lot of the bridge floors freeze up and then some of the roadways were icy in different spots," said Sgt. Watson. 

The Joplin Police Department issued emergency road conditions this morning for the first time this season.

 "We issue the emergency road conditions for hazardous weather. We want people to slow down and take their time. If they don't necessarily have to be on the roads, then they shouldn't be on the roads," said Lt. Darren Gallup, Joplin Police Department. 

Joplin police officers responded to six reported accidents between 7 and 8:30 this morning in the city limits.

"Usually the calls this morning were on ramps, the bridges, the overpasses of the interstate," said Lt. Gallup. 

Both agencies said all were non-injury or minor injuries crashes. 

"We want people to pay attention to the weather and anticipate there may be some problems, some delays, things like that. Minimize the distractions you've got there in the vehicle, buckle up, and if your celebration does include alcohol, make sure you have someone designated as a driver that has not been drinking," said Sgt. Watson. 

Both agencies recommend you plan ahead when traveling this winter and especially this coming holiday weekend. Before you head out, you can also check MODOT's website for traffic and road conditions. 


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