Laurie Police Chief Mark Black and Assistant Chief Angela Nickerson attended a MoDOT Highway Safety Division, Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety Conference at MoDOT headquarters in Jefferson City last week. Black said they were honored to be one of only three police departments in Missouri to receive equipment provided through a grant.

The Laurie Police Department has new equipment to better highlight the dangers of drunk driving. The LPD recently received a state grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation for “drunk goggles,” portable breathalyzers and a hand-held radar gun.
Laurie Police Chief Mark Black and Assistant Chief Angela Nickerson attended a MoDOT Highway Safety Division, Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety Conference at MoDOT headquarters in Jefferson City last week, according to a press release from the LPD. Black said they were honored to be one of only three police departments in Missouri to receive equipment provided through a grant.
According to Black, the LPD received approximately $3,500 in safety equipment, including a $2,000 Stalker hand held radar gun which calculates speed, six drunk goggles ($200 each), which are an educational tool that imitates intoxication levels from "buzzed" to "wasted," and several portable breathalyzers.
“We will demonstrate the goggles at public functions, such as the Hillbilly Fair,” Chief Black said. They also are available to conduct demonstrations using the drunk goggles as well as presentations on the dangers of drugs and alcohol to organizations, parents and students. Interested persons are invited to call Chief Black at 573-374-4871.
Reaching for a final destination of zero deaths
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is a partnership of safety advocates who have banded together to attack the problem of traffic crashes and deaths. Missouri’s Blueprint – A Partnership Toward Zero Deaths serves as a guide to reach the coalition’s continued goal of reducing traffic crashes to 700 or less by 2020. Zero fatalities is their ultimate goal.
Traffic deaths by year
2015 Year End Total = 870
2014 Year End Total = 766 
2013 Year End Total = 757
2012 Year End Total = 826 
2011 Year End Total = 786
2010 Year End Total = 821 
2009 Year End Total = 878
2008 Year End Total = 960
2007 Year End Total = 992
2006 Year End Total = 1,096 
2005 Year End Total = 1,257
Impaired driving
According to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, the sobering fact is that impaired driving contributes to 22.5 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities. In 2015, 192 people were killed and 655 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one impaired driver.
Many drunk drivers are under the age of 21. From 2011-2014, there were 69 fatal crashes and 211 serious injury crashes involving an impaired driver under the age of 21. There were 85 people killed and 324 seriously injured in these crashes.
Impaired driving statistics:
19 percent of all 2016 Missouri traffic fatalities involved impaired driving. 
180 people were killed in 2016 traffic crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver. 
643 people were seriously injured in 2016 traffic crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver. 
90 days is the amount of time your license can be suspended on your first conviction. 
Six months is the amount of time you can spend in jail on your first conviction. 
1,000 is the amount of money you could be fined on your second conviction.
Campaigns
Current Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety campaigns include; Saved By the Belt, Work Zone Awareness Week, Super Bowl Impaired Driving Campaign, Enforcement Campaign, Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign, Commercial Motor Vehicle Awareness, Motorcycle Awareness Month, Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign, Click It or Ticket Enforcement Campaign, July Impaired Driving Enforcement Campaign and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Enforcement Campaign.
The coalition offers driver safety resources on child passengers, motorcycles, distracted driving, big rigs, school and bus safety, guard rails, older drivers, railway safety, bicycles and pedestrians, speeding, driving laws, seatbelts, impaired driving and teens.
For additional information and resources visit savemolives.com.

-Story contributed by Janet Dabbs