JOPLIN, Mo. — While it’s always a good idea to pay attention to the road while driving – Joplin police say it’s more important than ever this month.

“Around the holidays, you’re gonna see a big increase especially to the main thoroughfares through town,” said JPD Captain Will Davis.

In fact, Joplin police have seen 130 car wrecks in just the last three weeks. December is traditionally one of the top months for crashes – and marks the ninth traffic death for the year.

“And so you know, one is too much. And so nine is is, you know, unacceptable for us. And so anything that we can do that our officers can do to go out there and help with traffic enforcement and trying to make the roadway safer,” said Davis.

Officers say crashes are most often caused by a failure to yield to traffic, following another vehicle too closely, or distracted driving. They add wrecks can happen at any spot in town, but there are certain areas that are riskier.

“The major intersections — your, your seventh and Rangeline, 32nd and Range Line, 32nd and main, 32nd and Connecticut. Those are going to be really, uh, you know, some higher crash locations. And so, you know, you’re probably going to see an uptick in in police officer presence around those areas and again, throughout town, as we try to, you know, do our traffic enforcement duties,” he said.

And if you need another reason to watch out – there will be more traffic enforcement.

“We want to make sure our roadways are safe for for all the drivers out there. So you’re gonna see an increase in traffic stops, you’re gonna see a lot of increase in traffic enforcement. And again, it’s just we want to make sure that everybody gets to where they’re going safely,” Davis added.